Tone from the top – Best of Both

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    Amanda Broos

    In acquisitions I’ve been part of, leadership speaks of taking a ‘best of both’ approach to integration in early communications with acquired staff. Unfortunately, actions and pre-close decisions and assumptions seldom align to this sentiment. In situations where leadership of the combined company is pre-determined to be acquiring company legacy leadership, is it possible to truly achieve ‘best of both’?

    Karen Mildenhall

    I’ve seen the same assumption that the acquirer is already “best.” I do not believe it is possible to achieve the “best of both” if the acquiring company’s legacy leadership holds to this assumption.

    What shakes up the “we are already best” assumption is when a leader from the acquired company is appointed in a critical leadership role.

    Andrew Chow

    I’ve gone through five acquisitions in a year we go into DD recognizing the value potential for addressing service vacuum or focusing on a process and people consolidation with the best of breed methodology and people. Taking this approach requires leadership on both sides of the table to be committed to deliver in a new way and having that identified as part of the transaction rationale. If the Founders do not come with the deal (e.g., carve out), it is easier as the egos on the Seller side is less intense and egotistical about their perceived superiority in the market.

    Amy S

    I agree. We have the best intentions of taking the best of both. However, I don’t think the acquiring organization actually realizes that will mean a level of change for them as well. In the case of an acquisition, I have found that for leaders it’s easier to change the sellers’ processes then try to pivot the “mothership”.

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