Michael Maas is a successful manager and entrepreneur who, over a 20 year period, helped build and grow two different companies in the video game sector to USD300 million in annual revenue each year. Michael now coaches CEOs and entrepreneurs as a partner of CEO Coaching International.
Below are Michael’s 10 tips for merger or acquisition integration success.
1. Recognize and adopt the mindset that any M&A effectively results in a new organization. Redevelop a start-up mindset and work ethic to ensure a complete and successful integration.
2. Communicate to each group of stakeholders the reasons behind the M&A and the value and associated costs it will bring to each group. Getting buy-in from everyone impacted is an important step toward optimizing benefits and minimizing costs, and leads to a more integrated outcome.
3. Integration ownership should be at the highest level. While it’s smart to include all the key players, the president and/or CEO should drive the process and lead the group.
4. An integration plan must contemplate and include all facets of the respective businesses, operations, organizations and cultures; and should be measurable in the following increments: 30/60/90/180 days.
5. Assign individuals or teams (with a designated team leader) ownership of every item on the plan. The individual accountability that comes with ownership is critical to successfully executing an integration plan.
6. Develop tools to assess progress of the plan. It’s the only way to ensure in an objective way whether necessary progress is being made.
7. Meet regularly and often to review and discuss progress and make tweaks or changes to the plan. Meetings with integration plan owners should occur weekly, and in some circumstances daily, and should focus on a review of measurable progress and a preview of next steps.
8. M&As are relationship-intensive; communication with all stakeholders, external and internal, should occur in some form or fashion at least once a month.
9. Bridging cultures into a common core and allowing a bit of each to survive is important. The best way to find commonalities to be embraced and differences respected is achieved through dedicated, purposeful time together both in and out of the office.
10. Get, and use, employee feedback. Use this as an additional information tool to assess integration progress and performance. You can never have too much information, and the thoughts and moods of employees are the pulse that every CEO and/or president should have his or her finger firmly on, particularly during times of great change and stress such as a M&A integration.
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