Merger Integration

I am often left with an unanswered question when I come across the idea that;

As two organizations come together, it is vitally important to make sure that everyone knows the ground rules, and that the new organization takes the time and effort to address the people issues.

The above is taken from Diane Pfadenhauer who cited a piece by Leo Flanagan re-emphasising the need to ensure that organisational integration is done properly. While of course there is little doubting such a position, my own unanswered question is how? How is integration done properly? I tend to believe that the truly diverse approaches offered by different firms and consultants is a hotch-potch of other aspects of general consultancy practice – of course, some of it works and some of it doesn’t but why are we always up against the point made by Ronald Gruia that;

Given the dismal success rate of mergers, it is only natural that savvy VC gurus such as Fred Wilson and Ed Sim agree that when one of their company’s competitors is acquired, they stand up and cheer. The reasons? Cultural clashes, leadership that is looking to cash in the chips and re-invest the money in a new venture, exodus of the best employees and customer base erosion. I have experienced this at Nortel (culture clash: Periphonics, all others combined in one: Clarify).

We’ve been exploring these ideas, potential opportunities (and more!) with Allan Engelhardt and hope to have an answer in the not too distant future :-)

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