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How Change Management Can Help M&A Deals

If you’re thinking of merging with another company, you might be wondering how you’re going to manage the change in environment and its impact on your staff.

If you aren’t, then you should be. It’s really important that you take this into consideration, because an unhappy work environment and the type of big changes that come with merging your company with another are responsible for the failing of a company – or at the very least its merger – on a fairly regular basis.

Change management can help you to combat the negative impacts of this. At the very least, it can help you to forecast for them.


What is change management?

Change management is a method of managing change that helps to limit the impact a major change has on your business at every level, from the amount of revenue you are making to the happiness and contentedness of your staff.

It involved a very specific set of actions and close monitoring of the change at every stage – from A to B to C – to make sure you’re on track. If you’re not, a change management expert will no doubt have forecasted this, and know how to change the strategy to get you back on track.

They’ll plan for all eventualities, and help you determine the stumbling blocks that might derail your progress, no matter how many there might be. Using a number of tried and tested techniques, a change management expert will give you the absolute best chance of incorporating your change without repercussions for your company.


Why is change management important in mergers and acquisitions

You might think your merger is pretty simple, but is it really? And are you prepared to take that risk? Because if it isn’t simple and you don’t prepare, you might find yourself with a failed company.

So it’s a good idea – whenever you have a major change – to bring onboard a change management expert, who will help you to prepare for and navigate through the change.

Mergers don’t only impact you, they impact your individuals. They impact your systems. They impact absolutely every part of your company, whether you like it or not. And changes like these are not to be taken lightly, because mergers are about more than the initial purchasing of a company. Have you thought about five years from now? How about ten?

A change management expert will help you with your merger by focusing on its relationship to three key areas.

How it affects individuals. Humans are programmed to resist change, even though we’re really good at it when we put our minds to it. That’s why supporting your staff through a significant change, like a merger or acquisition, is the best way to get optimum performance from them. And trust us, you’re going to need them.

Mergers and acquisitions sometimes bring with them existing staff, and you might not have as much luck encouraging them to work hard for you as you do your own staff.

Individual change management means understanding how people experience changes and what support they’ll need to get them onboard with it. This means assessing your staff and their individual traits and levels of commitment to put people in designated roles to help with the change, and taking care of individuals as a collective.

A change manager will help you identify what messages your staff need to hear and where they should come from, who needs new skills and when they should acquire them, and how to get your team excited on an individual level.

How it affects the organisation or initiative. A merger is a big change, and it is unlikely you have managed to merge with a company that does exactly what you do, so how does your new merger impact your organisation and its mission, and what do your teams need to do to get you there?

A change manager will identify which teams need to change as a result of your merger and how they’ll need to do it, then they’ll create an in-depth plan to get there. This part of the change management process involves identifying where there’s a lack of awareness, and where leadership coaching and training is needed to strengthen the team.

This part of the change management process feeds into the former, because it will help to drive the individual changes you need to achieve the overall objective, but view them from a wider team perspective.

Change management at enterprise level. How is your change going to help you be competitive? Is it niche enough? It’s not making you too niche, is it? How are you going to adapt to an ever-changing world? What if something drastic happens, will your company be able to handle it without your change manager?

Having enterprise change management capability means that effective change management is embedded in your organisation at every single level. They’re used for absolutely every single change to make sure it is managed and implemented in the best way. It means that leaders can guide the staff through any change and employees know how to react to make change successful, and they do this without really thinking about it.

You’ll need to be able to do this in order to remain competitive, and to react to whatever you learn about your marketplace as a result of the merger, as well as anything that might change in the future.

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