Employees find lots to gripe about when they’re being acquired and merged. Looking back across my three decades of consulting on M&A, though, one complaint stands out clearly as people’s #1 gripe.
It goes like this: “Why don’t they move faster? Why is the integration taking so long?”
I honestly cannot think of a single client I've worked with where the integration proceeded too rapidly to suit people in general. Fast they can live with, but across the board, people hate slow.
Merger integration is sort of like taking your family on a road trip, where the kids are hounding you constantly with the question, “Are we there yet?”
And the longer the drive, the more the mood sours. People want you to wrap it up! They’re aching for it to be over and done.
Now that I think about it, I can’t recall ever urging a client to slow down the integration process. Maybe I did somewhere along the way. But ordinarily I’m pushing to accelerate things—not merely because the workforce prefers fast integration, but because speed is a major contributor to merger success.
Finally, here’s my dogma: You can integrate faster than you think you can.