The ebb and flow of a transaction…
Have you ever met someone who was an exceptional sprinter and an equally good marathon runner?
Or perhaps someone who could paint like Renoir and understand the engineering requirements of the new Forth Road Bridge?
Someone as comfortable with performing the blues as she was with Bach?
It’s an easy but not particularly insightful assumption to make, that those who develop the strategy for a deal might not be the best equipped to manage the integration process (I’ve written previously about the different skill sets required). What’s more interesting and useful to consider is that, even within the constraints of the integration process, the dynamics vary considerably. So when you’re selecting people for different tasks it’s worth considering whether their strengths lie in sprinting or marathon running. Whether they’re likely to succeed more in:
The frantic preparations for Day 1, working across a myriad of different work streams with unaligned stakeholders, a communications process which would stretch most organisations, and the cultural & change challenge of two organisations finally coming together after months of talking lots and perhaps doing little!
Or the management of a complex five year work stream which involves re-designing the underlying platform of the business with all the stakeholder management challenges, the need to constantly iterate strategic intent with implementation capability, alongside the inevitable change fatigue which will follow!
Post acquisition integration has a natural ebb and flow to it. Recognising where you are in the cycle and being able to re-engage / re-energise when it’s required is one of those hidden capabilities which shouldn’t be underestimated.