M&A Integration Processes and Issues

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In M&A It is essential to avoid damaging the value of the deal. It is therefore important to make time to plan and develop your processes. I’ve found that the most prevalent problems are relating to people – how they react to change and how they react to it and what they do when things don’t go as planned.

One of the most important things we do for clients is to assist them in setting an approach which allows them to spot possible issues early and then respond quickly. This can be accomplished by having a weekly IMO meeting and working streams to assess progress and escalate issues and risks to SteerCo.

Once the procedure for solving issues has been established, it’s crucial to focus on implementation. This means that the team is aware of what it’s expected to accomplish and how it will be evaluated, and when. It also means clearly stating accountability (i.e. taking responsibility for the final results) and decision-making authority for the entire integrated company.

It is vital to ensure that the CEO and top management can devote at 90% of their time working on core business issues and not be distracted by integration activities. One way to accomplish that is to appoint an experienced leader to head the Decision Management Office (IMO) that can make decisions and oversee the work flow. This person could be from the acquired organization, or it can be an emerging star within the merged company who has the support of their boss who is willing to make this commitment.

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