Merger success hinges on planning and execution during post-merger integration. Alexa Nick, Managing Partner at Level5, shares her top 7 key areas for leaders to consider as they drive merger outcomes.
Cultural dynamics are a leading cause of merger failures, contributing to a staggering 50-70 percent of cases. Underestimating the impact of different organizational cultures on people can be detrimental to driving merger benefits and effective integration. By prioritizing cultural alignment, businesses foster employee engagement, reduce organizational resistance, and enhance the chances of successful integration.
Creating a sense of urgency allows companies to minimize disruption and uncertainty. We all know that change is on the horizon – we must treat our people the way they deserve to be treated: with clarity, authenticity, and speed. By proactively addressing challenges and implementing necessary changes quickly, organizations can establish a solid foundation for merger success.
During a merger, employees crave direction and clarity. Establishing key leaders in the combined entity early on is crucial so that leaders can take on the work of leading with clear, consistent and timely communications. Leaders can create an environment where employees feel secure and supported, thereby fostering trust and enabling momentum.
Effective integration requires comprehensive pre-merger planning. While respecting regulatory constraints and information-sharing limitations, companies can leverage this critical period to lay the groundwork for a seamless transition and proactively structure efforts to drive synergies and to organize for seamless integration.
The due diligence phase of a merger uncovers valuable insights into potential sources of value, from both a revenue growth and cost take-out standpoint – setting a clear roadmap for merger success. By defining goals early, integration teams can drive to results quickly.
The establishment of a Merger Integration Office provides a centralized and coordinated approach to integration. The Merger Integration Office should evolve over time to meet changing integration needs, from due diligence to day one and through to post-merger integration. By dedicating a team to oversee integration efforts, companies can streamline coordination and ensure a systematic approach to achieving the merger’s anticipated benefits.
Flexibility is key in the ever-changing landscape of merger integration. Building an agile program that responds to changing priorities allows organizations to address challenges, adjust strategies, and seize emerging opportunities. By fostering a culture of adaptability, businesses can optimize their integration efforts and drive long-term success.
Too many companies fail to address these 7 foundational principles and run the risk of facing the arduous task of a ‘post-post’-merger integration effort. Taking these principles into your merger planning process will lay the groundwork for unlocking the full potential of a merger, enabling businesses to achieve sustainable growth and position the organization thrive in a competitive market.