Communication problems have always ranked #1 on the list of generic problems during integration.  But they’ve hit a far higher threat level now because of today’s communication technology.

With email, Twitter, Facebook, and such, it’s like every employee runs a broadcasting station.  The speed, reach, and sheer volume of information circulating from the people in your workforce eclipses what was possible just a few years ago. 

This has serious implications for an M&A scenario.

We know that when change hits, the first scan is for danger.  This is just human nature…the survival instinct at work.  So when a deal is announced, people instantly scan for how it might be threatening to their careers.  This creates a mindset colored by uncertainty, anger, and distrust.  What employees see and hear is perceived through this negative filter, and their concerns can be shared at e-speed with others anywhere on the planet.  Change always throws off sparks, so the critics and worried souls can easily find troubling issues to chatter about ...