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Driving Change Management for M&A Integration

If you’re thinking of merging with or acquiring another company, you’re hopefully reasonably alarmed by the task at hand. You should be. This is a huge deal and we can almost guarantee it will throw up issues you hadn’t even thought of. Unfortunately, that’s the way mergers and acquisitions work.

Another unfortunate consequence of M&A deals is that the majority of them fail. That is in part due to the complications they create. It’s never as simple as throwing two offices together, two bodies of staff, two computer systems, and hoping for the best.

M&A deals need to be carefully researched and planned as far in advance as possible, preferably before an offer is made on a new business.

We don’t want to overwhelm you, so please don’t panic. We know that your time is valuable and that your staff are probably already stacked. Luckily, you can hire a professional change manager, who will handle this major shift on your behalf.

How Change Managers drive change

In order to get the very best out of your M&A deal, we would actually recommend you bring a change manager onboard right from the very beginning. A good change manager can actually help you determine which companies are best positioned for a smooth transition before you decide which organisation you want to make an offer on.

They’ll know what questions you need to ask and how the answers will impact your business.

Setting yourself up for an easy change from the very beginning is a good idea, as M&As are complicated enough.

The best way to drive your major change forward is to make sure that change is at least possible. In the best case scenario, you’ll have a good idea of how that change will be managed before you even put an offer in.

The wonder of change managers

Whatever stage you’re at when you bring your change manager onboard, the first thing they’ll do is research. They’ll spend time speaking to staff to determine where integration is easy and where there might be difficulties, then work to develop a clear plan, complete with milestones. There’ll likely be a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. Your change manager will clearly describe to you and your team how they plan on driving forward the integration and what they plan to do in a worst case scenario.

Talent spotting

If you’re going to integrate your teams and systems properly, you’re going to need more than just a change manager. You’ll need pioneering staff members from all departments who help manage the change alongside the change manager. They’ll report on milestones and keep the mission on track.

Your change manager will be experienced in determining who these people are and used to managing their progress.

Your staff are the absolute best people to inform your change manager on how things work and what needs to happen for a successful integration because they likely know more about their individual departments than any senior manager.

Don’t try to merge two departments from separate companies without involving your staff. This can breed animosity, and that is the last thing you want when you are merging your business.


Your team is not going to take well to a new person, change manager or otherwise, coming in and communicating your M&A on your behalf. This is why it is very important that you communicate properly with them from the very beginning.

But your change manager will be able to advise you on how best to communicate with your teams.

Communicating why you are merging with or acquiring another business is important, and being honest and transparent about what this means for your staff will make them feel reassured. There are also tried and tested methods of communicating with your staff in a way that makes them want to assist with the M&A because it is in their best interests to do so.

You can assign a change manager from your existing staff

You can identify an individual within your organisation who you think would make a good change manager and task them with the job, but there are a few things you should be aware of before you do.

The first is change management is complicated and time consuming, and not everybody can do it.

The second is that whoever you assign change management to should see a reduction in other duties, as they need to be thorough and dedicated, and for that they need time.

Yorkshire Change can help

If you’re thinking about merging with or acquiring another company, speak to Yorkshire Change. We’re experienced change managers and will help you achieve a smooth M&A with as little impact to your staff and revenue as possible.

To speak to a dedicated and experienced member of our team, please fill in the contact form on our website, or call 0333 090 8710.

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