Employees in the acquired organization need to know the new rules of the game, what their roles will be in the merged company, what's expected of them, and how they will be measured and rewarded.
The changes people don’t like, they will probably resist. Management cannot keep everyone happy. But a number of things can be done to reduce resistance.
This section of the web site features presentations, plans, and articles to help organizations achieve greater buy-in and plan successful changes during M&A integrations.
Change Management M&A Plans
Change Management Plan Overview
Change Management Team Adds Value in Eight Areas
Change Management Plan
Change Management Team Mission
Interdependencies / Coordination Required
Hot Topics / Urgent Issues to Be Solved
A Systems Model of Change
HR Day 1 Plan
Key Decisions List for New Division
- Change Management Priorities - Integration
- Integration Change Management Timeline
- HQ Move
- Change Management Priorities - Integration
- Vision, Operating Framework and Leadership Alignment
- Communication and Feedback Loops
- Transition Management
- Develop a comprehensive change management plan that identifies what is changing and what is not as a result of the merger
- Design and deploy mechanisms to help employees understand the required changes and take personal responsibility for successfully implementing them
- Prioritize activities in the change management plan by creating HR Plans for Day 1, first 100 days, first six months, and first year post-close …
Managing Resistance in M&A
What sort of push-back is predictable in an M&A integration? How much resistance is “reasonable”?
If you have a reliable frame of reference, you can put things into perspective. Knowing what’s “normal,” you’ll have a better feel for how you should react to the particular situation facing you. So let’s look at the typical scenario.
We’re dealing in generalities here, but the breakout usually goes about like this.
Some 20 percent of the people in the acquired company are “merger-friendly.” They’re clear advocates who willingly embrace the combination. You can depend on them to help drive the program. Another 50 percent of the folks sit on the fence. They assume a so-called neutral position, trying to figure out which way to lean. They’re not necessarily hostile to the merger, but they’re not helping like they should. The remaining 30 percent are the resisters. They’re …
1. EXPLAIN THE REASONS FOR THE CHANGE.
Usually the best steps in dealing with problems are the preventive ones.
Perhaps the most effective way to minimize resistance is to make sure people in the organization have a good understanding of the rationale for the changes. The people in charge should be very open, very willing to share their perspectives or the line of reasoning that led to the changes. When this sort of information is communicated, the odds ...
Change Management M&A Best Practices
Opposition surfaces as soon as the integration process gets underway. Resistance starts to climb. You push to change the organization, and it starts pushing back. People gripe, whine and criticize, complaining about your objectives as well as the way in which you’re trying to reach them. Pretty soon the noise level begins to hurt your ears.
Under ordinary circumstances, negative reactions this strong mean you’re doing something wrong. In the merger scenario, though, they more likely mean you’re doing things dead right.
Still, resistance gets your attention. And the stronger the reaction of the anti-change crowd, the more you’re inclined to question your goals or methodologies. Challenged by others, you begin to challenge yourself. Whispers of doubt start circulating in your head. Part of you says, “Don’t push so hard …
… The yield point is like the sound barrier—it’s turbulent just before you reach it, but smooth as silk once it’s broken.
During the early months of merger integration, about the best you can do is manage the blur—ride the waves, so to speak, instead of trying to be boss of the ocean. You can’t avoid the rough water, so you might as well make the most of it. The ride may be wild and scary, but you sure can cover some miles.
Believe it or not, there is a blessing in all this. Several in fact. With things in such a state of flux, you have a window of opportunity during which you can do dramatic things. It’s like having a license to make wholesale changes, to take actions that are long overdue.
People are primed for it. The energy level is up. So pull the trigger. Don’t squander this chance to do more than merely merge.
This major uptick in corporate metabolism is something you desperately need to sustain. Rather than being disturbed about it, you should nurture it. The organization needs it to compete. And as for the intense instability, you should use it to develop a higher tolerance for disorder on the part …
Jobs seem to grow more complicated every year.
Employees are expected to carry a heavier workload, meet higher quality standards, and pick up speed at the same time. It’s a foolproof formula for stress.
Since organizations are under so much pressure from changes in the outside world, though, we can’t look forward to any letup. More work keeps landing on fewer shoulders. Customer expectations keep going up. And ever stiffer competition means we have to move faster and faster just to keep up.
Nevertheless, there are limits to the workload we can carry. Trying harder and harder can only take us so far.
If we keep taking on new duties without giving others up, we’ll eventually hit overload. This means we should ...
Picture this: An organization asks people to change, then rewards them better if they stay the same.
Makes no sense whatsoever, but it happens all the time. Basically it comes down to this—people get paid to resist.
This is the absurd situation that develops when we ask people to change their behavior, but fail to make it worth their while. They usually decide to keep doing the same old things instead. And why not? It’s probably easier. Maybe it seems less risky. But most important, it offers a better payoff than changing does.
Think about it. People often stand to lose somehow in the change process. Work gets harder, at least for a while. There’s more job stress. Overall, the personal costs seem rather high. If resisting change doesn’t cause them problems, then why worry about changing? Hanging on to old habits makes pretty good sense, so long as the old reward system stays in place.
You must give people eye-catching reasons ...