How to Successfully Manage a Business Merger
If you find yourself selected for the management team for your company’s merger effort, consider it a compliment. Helping to run a successful merger and acquisition attempt can be a complicated and often thankless job. With a multitude of moving parts to consider and possible feelings of anxiety on both sides of the merger fence, the leaders in the process should be adept at making right decisions while under pressure. Helping your company accomplish this feat will likely raise your status in the ranks, and you may even enjoy the thrill of the challenge. Once you have gained this valuable experience, you could also start your own business as a merger and acquisition consultant and spend all of your time facilitating successful business mergers.
It could be argued that the managers of a merger deal need many skills, but that one of these abilities stands above the rest: handling people. The accountants in an organization typically do a fantastic job of providing data on the merger’s viability from a financial perspective. Likewise, the logistics and operations people usually prove capable at merging the two firms’ physical resources and processes. The Human Resources team can probably handle the people as far as hours and benefits are concerned. The leadership team, however, has to do one thing that none of these other invaluable professionals are usually in a position to do. Typically, management’s role is to provide the vision necessary to motivate the rank and file, the ones who will ultimately decide if the merger will work out or not, to see the value of the action and fully support the company’s actions.
Winning this support is generally no easy task. Only by communicating the value of the merger to the company, and more importantly to each employee, will you improve your chances of accomplishing your goal of a harmonious future. In business mergers, two formerly separate companies become one. Two groups of people will hopefully meld into a seamless team that works together to build on their company’s successes. Unless the leadership makes an effort to bring these two groups together, it will not likely happen on its own. People in different organizations will naturally distrust any attempts to blend them in with strangers. Human nature can tend to resist change, primarily if it contains elements of the unknown.
You have a demanding job ahead of you as a leader in a merger. Business mergers are probably one of the toughest challenges in the corporate world. If everything goes according to plan, however, you can possibly reap rewards of increased strength in the business world.