Why an Independent Consultant?

The deal is done.  Hurrah!  Introductions made.  The executives of the parent are excited by the new competitive possibilities opened through the acquisition.  Normally, you would be concerned about retaining key employees and maintaining the motivation of the new organization, but all indications are that they are thrilled with the recent events.  You have identified your integration team and you know that there is a lot of competence in your industry within the team. 

Yet you will probably fail!  You will likely fail to gain the competitive advantage you seek and you will fail to return value to your stockholders.

At least 61% of acquisitions fail to maintain the same level of market capitalization as their industry peers according to BusinessWeek (October 14, 2002).  And almost all start with the same scenario as above.  So why do they fail?  The reasons are subtle.  It begins in the due diligence process, when, in putting their best foot forward the acquired company outlines it’s future – its future revenue growth, profits, product development schedule – none of which will actually occur.  These plans, of course, were prepared to get the best price possible for the company.  In addition, the work of integration is difficult, takes time and energy, and will distract the acquired employees from doing their jobs.

Eventually, new plans get cast and in the meantime, indecision creates delays.  Moreover, as the honeymoon period ends, employees become disenchanted.  They find they have new bosses with new ideas, new directions and new directives.  Their new bosses, well intended, are often focused at functional integration of the new groups.  By the rule of the conqueror, they are automatically put in charge.  Their energy goes into merging systems and policies and benefits and all of the strategic activity takes second place.  The organization gets divided up among your functional heads and begins to disappear. 

Meanwhile, the new employees begin to feel the loss of their old organization and the loss of their place in it.  The smart ones feel subjugated to the new conquerors and see their influence wane.   Morale drops, productivity falls, and turnover rates begin to rise.  Resistance within the acquired unit rises. 

How well have you prepared your transition team for these dynamics?  Is their goal to get the integration over with, so they can return to their “real jobs”?  Have your people been involved with successful acquisitions before?  Have you turned over the integration effort to your functional heads?  Will they continue to have energy for the effort six to twelve months down the road?

At AcquisitionWorks we believe it is not about integration.

We believe it’s about achieving maximum customer value and competitive advantage.  It’s about creating alignment and focus on the strategic objectives that brought about the acquisition in the first place.  To create this alignment and focus throughout the new organization, we believe that organizations should be focusing on:

If you agree with this approach, perhaps we can assist your integration team by providing expertise, structured programs and processes, and a program management function that will keep your efforts on track and focused on the right set of objectives and activities:

Why an independent consultant?  Why not just appoint an experienced capable person of your own into a position to do this?  To begin with it is important to give the employees of the acquired company a voice.  And under the highly political environment of an acquisition, a confidential voice.  It is just as important for the parent operations to be basing their decisions on the truth.  It’s difficult to accomplish this atmosphere of trust immediately after an acquisition.  It is an environment of fast paced change where career decisions are constantly being made by the parent about the newly acquired employees.  The new employees do not want to appear to be negative or grousing or in any way to appear to be resistant to their new bosses.  We can provide them a place or mechanism to air their fears and concerns in a confidential way.

Why an independent consultant?  We have one goal -- to quickly refocus and align your new organization to achieve customer needs.  We are not distracted by our other responsibilities.  We bring a sense of urgency.  We bring expertise and experience.  We bring a clear vision of what needs to be done.  We bring programs and processes that help to rapidly bring about the goals you want to achieve.  We provide coaching and architectural guidance to the transition process.

Why an independent consultant?  We bring an untiring energy to the sustaining period.  In our program management function we can periodically assess the progress toward objectives.  We become a catalyst to the continuation of the process, maintaining focus and energy as the work gets done.

In short, if the investment in your acquisition is important to you, we can provide you with better data, implement processes and programs designed to accelerate the “integration” process, and provide a framework for managing the transition process to completion.  All with a focus on what is really important to you – improving customer value and your competitive edge.