Integration = Change Management

Wouldn’t it be great if understanding this one factor – that integrating two businesses is at its core about managing change – were enough to make deals work?  Sadly it’s not.  Turns out that most change endeavors fail too, as illustrated in this fairly informative little video from the folks at Strategy + Business.

Click here for the video, just under five minutes long.

Change … Lost – without a map.

1929 Standard (PA)

About the Art:

1929 Road map of Pennsylvania (illustrator unknown), distributed by Standard Oil Company of Pennsylvania, a subsidiary of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, itself one of the 34 companies that devolved from the breakup of the Standard Oil trust. Standard Oil of NJ marketed gasoline under the Esso brand, which became Exxon in the 1970s. (Author’s collection)

Higher ROI … Guaranteed!

Ha! Did The Merger Verger get your attention with that one? No, sadly, we’re not offering 1-year CDs paying 1.66666%. This is an acquisition integration forum. We’re offering wisdom here, of the stunning variety.

This one of the stunningly simple variety:

The single-most important step that a company doing an acquisition can take to make it succeed is this:

Acknowledge that merging two companies is not the same as running two companies… or even running one bigger company. It’s just not.

If you accept that premise, you will approach the integration process with more awareness and more thoroughness and your chances of success will soar. Therein lies our guarantee.

But, lo, wise Merger Verger, why is this so?Mobilgas 1960 VietNam

Because running most companies is about maintaining and optimizing existing paradigms. Merging two companies is about changing them. Very different!

M&A execution (as distinct from deal making) is about CHANGE MANAGEMENT.

In that spirit, TMV draws your attention to a fairly useful online resource that outlines and describes 33 different techniques for creating change in an organization. For each technique, the reader is given an overview, an example of the technique in action and a discussion (background, psychology, pitfalls, etc.) and links to more detail. Simple. Good. Check it out.

Change Techniques, courtesy of

About the Art: Today’s illustration is the cover of a 1960 Mobil road map of Viet Nam.