August 25th, 2022 | From our CEO
Prior to Innovisor I had hands-on change management experience with three mergers supposed to make 1+1=3 (or in one case six companies were merged, so 1+1+1+1+1+1=9).
They were supposed to:
- Grow capabilities and expertise
- Increase market share
- Build presence in a new, and fast-growing market
Learning: DONE WITH and DONE BY beats DONE TO
All three mergers failed miserably.
The post-merger integration activities – and I take my share of responsibility for this – were DONE TO the people rather than DONE WITH or DONE BY the people.
The people are the business. They are the ones who must make sense of this.
Failure on Failure on Failure
Anyways in all three cases we failed to acknowledge the value of people.
In one of the three cases the acquirer showed the highest level of leadership arrogance.
“We cannot learn anything from the other company. We bought them, remember!”
In the other, the environment was so hostile that key people left within short and the ones remaining showed what we now call a ‘Quiet Quitting’ attitude. No engagement at all!
In the third, the willingness to adapt to and learn from the local cultures was non-existing. Again resulting in extremely high turnover, poor sentiment, and very poor numbers and finally closure of the business.
Failure on failure on failure.
I learned from my post-merger integration experiences.
You Only Succeed with The People
Which is also why I now emphasize this, when Innovisor is in engaged in post-merger integration.
You cannot succeed unless you work WITH the people. In the best cases you LET THEM do the work.
How can you make this happen?
In the Short Term
Immediately after the acquisition, the merger faces four critical challenges:
- Retain key people. The good ones leave first. So spend a lot of time on 1:1’s with them
- Build a coherent leadership team. A critical component in successful change
- Engage the hidden influencers to create engagement and energy. 3% of the employees drive the commitment of the 90%
- Staff powerful project teams with people from both companies. Find the connectors – not just the not-so-busy ones, or your own favorites
It is important not to get preoccupied with the data, but to act visibly.
Your success will depend on your communication, the behaviors you instill, the unifying symbols and systems you put in place of legacy ones, the values that guide, and the energy felt by the people in both companies.
In the Long Term
In the longer term, mergers face three important challenges:
- Optimize connectivity in critical areas. Who must connect, about what, when, how, and why?
- Build innovation capabilities. Make sure those that stretch your thinking find their new soul mates
- Track progress. Do it frequently. Preferably every two months
- Calibrate interventions for greater impact. You will never hit the right plan upfront. Instead, be ready to calibrate, as you learn and move forward
Doing the Same as Always is Insanity
Einstein said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”. Still, many run their post-merger integrations by the same handbook they have used for years. They still produce the same failures.
What Innovisor can offer with our organizational network analysis capabilities is the diagnostic laser focus to ensure post-merger integration success. It has tangible benefits – especially in the early planning and subsequent executions of interventions. Where working with the right people for the right tasks really matter.
Focus Where it is Needed the Most
We provide valuable insights build on input from all employees. Readily accepted and embraced. Instead of spending time discussing diverging, and potentially politically laden, views on the current state, you can immediately focus on interventions that gap the void between current and desired state, and focus your time and resources, where interventions are needed the most.