Fact: 50 to 80% of mergers & acquisitions fail.
This book goes straight to the root causes of most of those failures, and hones in on the specific elements that senior and middle managers can use or develop to deliver an orderly business integration, a smoother experience for the individuals in the organisation, and the realisation of the benefits that the initiators of the merger had promised to deliver.
Get a tangible feel for the journey upon which you are about to embark, allowing you to check that the key elements discussed here are included in your integration plan and will be applied during its implementation.
“A first class reference source for delivering the business case of any merger or acquisition”
“Incredible! After going through book after book that deals with business and corporate relationships in an almost robotic manner (charts, behavior models… how often does reality ever obey those?) I found this little gem. The author draws on a life of experience and remembers something most of his peers forget: he makes the book enjoyable. The biggest surprise with this book is what an incredible story it tells, each full of valuable insight, and it does so without that condescending tone prevalent in most academic literature. If you’re at all interested in M&As, or for that matter international management, this book is for you!”.
There is evidence to show that companies that carry out regular acquisitions and make this one of their core competencies tend to perform better than their peers. This is good news, because it means that not all is random when it comes to the art of integrating companies: there are some lessons that can be learnt and applied.
Having led business integrations in a number of international companies, I have realised that the same mistakes and misconceptions repeatedly undermine the successful realisation of a merger or acquisition’s aim. This is because too few people know what to expect, and therefore cannot anticipate the hurdles they will need to overcome : what resources will they need, how will they organise their teams, how can they improve their degree of prepration, how will they ring-fence the on-going commercial performance of the company while the business units integrate, how will they maintain energy and momentum in the organisation during such an unsettling journey, how will they retain talent ?
Integrating companies is not rocket science, and yet too many companies fail to make this a successful journey, which is why I wanted to share my experience and highlight some of the factors which I believe were key in systematically delivering the business case of the business integrations I have led. I am very passionate about this, because this is something we owe our shareholders and our employees alike, and which we also owe ourselves.
Integrating companies is not rocket science, and yet it requires an ability to deal with significant complexity, manage conflicting priorities, re-think processes, and develop ways of working that will capture the best of what both companies have to bring in terms of know-how and experience. All of this whilst keeping the business on course to deliver its commercial results throughout a period of fundamental change. This calls for high levels of resilience and personal energy and will put every manager’s leadership skills to the test.
This book was written for Chief Executives and their direct reports, but also for the many managers who will either be directly involved in the integration programme, or will need to lead a business unit which is impacted by the merger or acquisition.
I wanted to share my experience and give the reader a feel for what lies ahead and an understanding of the areas of complexity that need to be managed to successfully deliver the business case underlying the merger or acquisition.
Integrating two businesses is a new experience and a journey into the unknown for most managers, which explains why up to 80% of mergers fail to deliver the business case they had promised. This book builds on my repeated experience of company integrations and large-scale business transformation programmes, giving you a clear understanding of what has worked well or not so well in other companies, thereby allowing you and your teams to prepare accordingly and make well informed choices.
You are about to undergo a major business transformation, caused by a merger or the integration of a business your company is about to acquire. Some of the challenges you will face are no-brainers; others require more thought and reflection. Let me tell you what I have experienced, what problems I have seen senior managers faced with, how they have overcome them, how some great ideas have lamentably flopped, how common sense can prevail provided one remains close to the pulse of the organisation …
Business integrations need to address many complex issues of process re-design or harmonisation, but in addition, the following topics are addressed in the book :