My colleague Dr Paul Turner has recently written an article on the Organisational Dynamics of Mergers and Acquisitions, an exert of which is copied in below, it is an excellent article and worth a read.
This is a hot topic for me at the minute as I am supporting two businesses who are both going through this very process and it always seems to be the merging of two cultures that is the more difficult part to manage, and yet this is often the part that receives the least forward planning.
Paul mentions that it is never too early in the process to start planning to merge and I would totally agree. To quote one of my favourites, Stephen Covey "seek first to understand, then to be understood". We spend a great deal of time understanding the performance and potential of a business but we don't often give the same attention to the culture, organisational dynamics and people. So often the new business is expected to get on board with new ways of working and interacting.
The fact is it doesn't need to be a difficult thing either, for example, we have a very valuable tool similar in execution to an engagement survey but focused on Organisational Dynamics. This kind of intervention accompanied by some good old fashioned shadowing and 121's can make the planning process much easier and when people feel understood they are generally more willing to change.
By understanding the different cultural dynamics of the merging organisations and/or the new acquisition, leaders can identify the key facilitating levers of change and ensure successful and profitable implementation of the M and A strategy.