More than 30 years of experience with mergers and acquisitions has taught us some important lessons.

One of the top things management can do is be prepared for the organizational dissonance that is virtually one of the upshots of merger/acquisition activity. The destabilizing force that is generated opens the door for change, for positive effect. It is motivating force top management can seize on to fuel growth and improve performance. It is an energy that can be harnessed.

Planning and thinking ahead is the key to managing people well during the transition.

Here are Ten Value-Accelerating Questions you should ask yourself before beginning the delicate process of combining companies.

  1. How will you organize the transition process so that it's fast and focused?
  2. How can you engage both sides so that you benefit from your combined knowledge and experience without getting mired down in politics and tradeoffs?
  3. Do you have a methodology and tools for launching transition teams, measuring progress, and holding people accountable for hitting targeted objectives?
  4. How will you communicate during the transition period in order to present a consistent set of core messages both internally and externally?
  5. How will you prepare your managers to handle questions when they don't have answers or to make decisions when there isn't enough data?
  6. How will you keep your people focused and productive?
  7. How will you retain key talent through this period of uncertainty?
  8. What will you do to minimize culture clash and make sure your combined culture equips you to meet marketplace demands?
  9. How will you address resistance to change?
  10. How will you re-energize your workforce during and after the demanding transition period?


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