Even though your deal looks great, you should be aware of some of the risks you face. So let’s take a look at what could prove to be very painful ... that is, if you don’t manage your merger properly.
- “Wait and See” attitude. This is another one that, on the surface, can look pretty harmless. But when normally confident and assertive people take a tentative, safe stance, it can slow down decisions, actions, and customer responsiveness. And although it seems perfectly natural for people to adopt a slower, more cautious approach during times of uncertainty, the end-result if often poor business performance.
- Complexity. Integrating more than needs to be merged, at least initially, can over-complicate things. The risk is making the combination process harder than it needs to be by working on everything at once without prioritizing what’s really important now and what can wait.
- Integrating to serve the organization instead of integrating to serve customers. This happens whenever internal needs drive integration planning, without regard for customers. As a result, organizations can waste hundreds of man-hours discussing issues like organizational structure and technology without considering how decisions might impact business results. So, the proper order is: #1: Business Strategy, #2: Impact on Customers/Revenue/Growth, #3: Go to Market Strategy, and then, and only then, #4: Integration Planning to support these business fundamentals.
- Executing the integration plan too slowly. Once you’ve clarified the combined business strategy, assessed the impact on growth, and put together a plan for how the combined business will go to market, then you should put the pedal to the metal and execute your integration plan. People need to see crisp, decisive action and hard proof the deal is truly creating value.