Post-Acquisition Integration

posted by WMC


A colleague of mine recently wrote a blog on her coaching practice citing that a key question to ask an employee is “Tell me about the best day you ever had at work?” An interesting way to get at the heart of what one values in the work they do.

Now – fast forward to the work environment within a company that has just been acquired by another. The key question here? “Tell me what you are looking forward to in this new work environment?”

There should be excitement in the reply and if due diligence has been done right, communications have occurred properly and new employment contracts are in place, you should hear three things:

  1. “I understand why this acquisition took place and am excited how we now offer a better value proposition to our customers. This is going to be good for the company.”
  2. “I understand how my role fits into the new structure and look forward to establishing the key results I can deliver towards our strategy. This is going to be good for me”.   AND
  3.   “I understand the values of our merged organization and how they are   aligned to the culture we had before the acquisition. This is aligned to the way I like to work.”

Newly acquired employees understanding the strategy, the structure and how the needs of the company, its customers and their individual needs are aligned are the beginnings of a solid transformation.

While we have never been able to find the quote Mark Fields (Ford Motor Company, 2006) attributed to Pete Drucker that “culture eats strategy for breakfast” – case studies have shown that once you have cultural alignment, operational excellence follows.

 Robert Turner is a Principal at WMC specializing in Board Governance, Organizational Development and Talent Management. He has been involved in a number of mergers and acquisitions.

Click here to read Robert’s post on LinkedIn.

The opinions represented here do not necessarily represent WMC’s views as a whole.