Measuring Merger & Acquisition (M&A) Cultural Risk and Compatibility (Target, Acquirer)

In this blog article, you will quickly learn the following:

  • What is the #1 success factor for M&A deals to succeed?

  • What are the top reasons M&A deals fail in terms of delivering the expected ROI?

  • The typical best practice M&A process and how this misses and/or plants a culture compatibility “ticking time bomb” that leads to the deal’s eventual failure.

  • The underlying reasons M&A deal makers are actually trying to hide these hidden M&A cultural time bombs that will leave them making top $$$ while leaving you holding an empty bag of cash in which cultures collide and chaos ensues

  • How pre-deal cultural compatibility & risks can now be measured!!

  • Examples of pre-deal measurement of Cultural Risk in M&A Deals

  • How to identify acquirer & target pre-deal cultural types

  • How to identify pre-deal culture conflict points

  • How to identify pre-deal cultural synergies (acquirer-target)

  • How you can actually change your M&A process to include pre-deal measurement of cultural risk and compatibility prior to deal closure!

Top Factors for M&A Success

Culture is top factor in M&A Success

We all know in our gut or have heard that culture is a top factor that either makes or breaks a M&A deal. Above is the proof that it actually is #1.

Top Factors in M&A Failures

Culture is a Main Factor as to Why M&A Fails

 

We also all have heard numerous stories as to how Culture consistently has made mergers a disaster, resulting in minimal or negative M&A deal return! Above is proof that culture is a top reason for M&A failures (reasons #2, #3, #4 & #8).

Typical M&A Deal Lifecycle

Culture Is Typically Ignored Until Post M&A Deal

Yet, when we examine supposed best practice M&A process life-cycles as above, we are hard pressed to find where culture is even a consideration and cultural compatibility examination most likely comes post-deal closure when it is too late. Examining whether the two cultures will work well together post-deal is like trying to stop an accelerating train from crashing into the station at 150 MPH with less than a mile to go.

Measurable M&A Cultural Compatibility Analysis Now Available!

Enter the new Cultural Measurement Tool, CultureTalk

Many that I speak to say that the main reason culture is ignored vs. the financials is that the deal makers want to profit from the transaction and are opposed to alerting the acquiring company of the latent risks.  

It is therefore mostly assumed that cultural incompatibility can be ‘managed’ via heavy handed company directives post-deal.  It lastly assumes that the ability to measure and quantify pre-deal cultural (in)compatibility is not possible. That last statement was most certainly true until culture analysis tools like CultureTalk were recently introduced to the marketplace.

First, some background on how CultureTalk was formulated. CultureTalk, is based on the work of Swiss psychotherapist Carl G. Jung who believed that human behaviors are guided by the same inner roadmap and by shared Archetype patterns.  CultureTalk answers the question ‘Who are we?’ in terms of which specific Archetype (1 of 12) best defines our overall organization.  CultureTalk also offers a companion tool to measure the Archetypes of individuals, which takes the work deeper and allows leaders to understand how their personal styles are contributing to success or conflict.

There aren’t good or bad Archetypes, but each has a strength and shadow side that we need to understand in order to drive maximized organizational effectiveness and this is especially true when merging two different Archetypal cultures.

Here is an overview of each of the 12 Archetypes:

CultureTalk Assigns Organizations (and Individuals) to 1 of 12 Archetypes

Based on Analysis Insights, CultureTalk Assigns Organizations (and Individuals) to 1 of 12 Archetypes

*Above Graphic courtesy of CultureTalk

Each of the 12 Archtypes above comes with a set of predominant strengths (shown above) and shadows that need to be understood and managed.

CultureTalk Measures M&A Cultural "Behavioral Gaps"

M&A Acquiring Company & Acquired Company Cultural & Gap Analysis

*Above Graphic courtesy of CultureTalk

By performing an organizational CultureTalk assessment, M&A Deal makers and stakeholders can quickly determine the risks, compatibilities and behavior gaps that need to be managed.

M&A Culture Conflict Analysis

CultureTalk Identifies Potential (Pre-Deal) M&A Culture Conflicts that need to be Managed

*Above Graphic components courtesy of CultureTalk and Brand Foundations

By performing an organizational deep dive assessment, M&A Deal makers and stakeholders can unearth all potential train wrecks that typically cause M&A deals to fail and then develop an action plan on how to manage these pending collision points to win-win scenarios (target company, acquirer).

Potential M&A Culture Conflicts - Revealed, Pre-Deal

Actual Cultural Conflict Points for a Recent US M&A Deal

*Above Graphic courtesy of CultureTalk and Brand Foundations

By performing a culture quadrant conflict analysis, M&A Deal makers and stakeholders can identify and isolate the specific points where merging cultures are very likely going to collide. They can then develop an organizational mitigation design and organizational development road-map to carefully and judiciously manage to these conflict points. Without this, I have witnessed the meltdown of M&A deals and, most importantly – the death knell of companies, the rapid defection of customers at a non-sustainable long-term rate (hence my CRM connection to M&A and Culture).

 

CultureTalk Measures M&A Cultural Synergies or "Connections"

CultureTalk Measures M&A Cultural Synergies or “Connections”

*Above Graphic components courtesy of CultureTalk and BrandFoundations

By performing a culture quadrant synergy analysis, M&A Deal makers and stakeholders can develop a plan for accelerating mutually compatible cultural connection (or compatibility) points. By identifying and capitalizing these cultural synergies, the two companies can adopt a hybrid culture consisting of the best of the best blended cultural practices.

That concludes my overview of measuring and managing cultural risk  pre M&A deal and how it can optimize the value of the M&A transaction

If your organization is seeking experienced assistance in measuring the pre-deal M&A risk and then managing to this risk to optimize the merger investment, then give me a call or e-mail me at 518-339-5857 or stevenjeffes@gmail.com

Lastly, this is just one article of 40+ total I have written on Customer strategy, CRM, marketing, product management, competitive intelligence, corporate innovation, change management – all of which I have significant experience in delivering for Fortune 500 companies.  In fact, my blog is now followed by nearly 160,000 world-wide and was just named one of the top 100 CRM blogs on the planet by Feedspot, alongside Salesforce.com, Infor, Microsoft, SAS, etc. – Reference this informative site here: https://blog.feedspot.com/crm_blogs/

* CultureTalk is an organizational culture assessment and audit system that provides in-depth training and materials to deliver engagements with leaders and teams. (https://culturetalk.com/)

 

* Brand Foundations is a CultureTalk Certified Partner and utilizes the suite of assessments and tools to work with clients across diverse brand development and organizational culture projects. (http://www.brandfoundations.us/)

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Tools & Techniques to Ensure Alignment of Corporate Activities and Initiatives with Overall Company Strategic Objectives

  1. Are your employees focused on driving toward your strategic objectives, day after day, week after week, quarter over quarter? Or are they focused on lesser important tactical tasks that don’t always support these strategic objectives?

  2. Can you specify which percentages of your team’s activities are spent working toward your strategic goals vs. the percent spent on tactical, non-strategic objectives?

  3. Do you have a set of tools to easily and simply track progress toward completion of strategic objectives, down to the initiative, project, and task?

  4. Do you have a set of world-class program and project management tools to leverage to ensure organizational alignment with company priorities?

If you answered “No” or I don’t know to any of the above questions, the rest of this blog is dedicated toward helping you get to “Yes” for all of the above 4 questions in 4 easy steps (my “4-in-4” delivery promise).

Develop and Prioritize Top Strategic Company Objectives

Develop and Prioritize Top Strategic Company Objectives

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STEP 1 – Develop and Prioritize Top Strategic Company Objectives

Above is a set of strategic objectives I helped develop for a financial services client who was struggling with customer loyalty and experiencing higher than standard customer defection rates to their competitors.  Through a series of interviews, workshops and visioning sessions, we arrived at the top four (4) strategic CRM objectives above and then mapped out the major customer interaction outlets (a.k.a. touch-points) in order to map the stakeholder groups that would be involved in helping my client achieve these four strategic objectives.

Map Top Strategic Company Objectives to both Functional Areas and to Supporting Major Initiatives

Map Top Strategic Company Objectives to both Functional Areas and to Supporting Major Initiatives

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STEP 2 – Map Top Strategic Company Objectives to both Functional Areas and to Supporting Major Initiatives

The next step in the process was to map the customer interaction outlets shown on the previous slide and then perform the following:

  • Overlay the stakeholder groups (shown on the outer part of the above diagram) that will be involved in helping achieve each of the four strategic initiatives shown in the center.

  • Map the strategic objectives that each of the stakeholder groups would be involved with implementing (i.e. bulleted items “Customer Information Profiles”, “Customer Needs Fulfillment”, etc.)

  • Develop a program and project plan with required resources from:

  1. From outside the company (consulting),

  2. From each of the stakeholder groups (subject matter experts, project liaisons, etc.)

  3. Technology Purchases

  4. Sourcing Agreements

  5. etc., etc.

Map Top Strategic Company Objectives to Supporting Major Initiatives, Projects and Activities

Map Top Strategic Company Objectives to Supporting Major Initiatives, Projects and Activities

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STEP 3 – Map Top Strategic Company Objectives to Supporting Major Initiatives, Projects and Activities

The next step in the process is to develop a mapping from Strategic Objectives to the Supporting Initiatives and the projects/activities that support these major initiatives. It is important to develop a unique coding system (or Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)) for each strategic objective, major supporting imitative, project and activities within each project so they can be tracked within a time management system. Here is an example as partially illustrated in the above diagram.

WBS Level 1: Strategic Objective 4 = “Correct Action, Correct Time, Correct Customer”;

    WBS Level 2: Initiative 1 Supporting Objective 4 = 4CR1 or “Customer      Referrals”

      WBS Level 3: Project 1 Supporting Customer Referrals =                  xxxxx 4CRCCIFG1, “Conduct Customer Incentive Focus Group”

          WBS Level 4: Activity 1 Supporting Conduct Customer Incentive                Focus Group = 4CRCCIFG1A1, “Determine Focus Group                                  Participants”

Once you have determined the entire work breakdown structure for all strategic initiatives, tracked to initiatives, project and all activities, down to the 4th level (i.e. 4CRCCIFG1A1), you can then load these into your time management system to track how much time is being spent on these strategic objectives & tasks vs. all other time management tasks.

Related to the above topic, does your organization need world-class and experienced assistance with any of the following?:

  • Determining your next strategic direction?

  • Setting prioritized strategic goals?

  • Driving organizational efficiency?

  • Ensuring corporate strategic initiatives are aligned with current projects, activities and tasks?

If so, give me a call, I call help you achieve world-class strategic programs that enable you to surpass your competition and bring your organization to the next level of strategic goal development and attainment.

Lastly, this is just one article of 40+ total I have written on Customer strategy, CRM, marketing, product management, competitive intelligence, corporate innovation, change management – all of which I have significant experience in delivering for Fortune 500 companies.  In fact, my blog is now followed by nearly 160,000 world-wide and was just named one of the top 100 CRM blogs on the planet by Feedspot, alongside Salesforce.com, Infor, Microsoft, SAS, etc. – Reference this informative site here: https://blog.feedspot.com/crm_blogs/

360° Organizational Health Check & Strategic Plan for the Future

Organizational Health Check & Diagnostic

Organizational Health Check & Diagnostic

Does your company encounter any of the following, yet you are unable to determine the root cause?

  • Loss of Market Share vs. Competitors

  • Eroding Profit Margins

  • Employee Churn

  • High Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

  • Sales and Marketing Ineffectiveness

  • Data & Information Gaps or errors

  • Lower Morale

  • Declining Productivity

  • Inefficient Processes, leading to ever growing labor costs

  • Lack of automation vs. competitors

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, then perhaps you should consider conducting an organizational health check diagnostic to determine your company’s current state across a number of corporate capabilities.  This assessment will lead to the following valuable and actionable organizational insights:

  • Key organizational gaps

  • Management strengths & weaknesses including developmental needs

  • Organizational strengths

  • Organizational aspirations for future capabilities and performance

  • A set of prioritized future state capabilities

  • A 5-year road-map for building your future state capabilities including business case and ROI for each future-state road-map initiative

Process for Organizational Diagnostic & New Strategic Plan Development

Process for Organizational Diagnostic & 5-Year Strategic Plan Development

While the organizational health check and diagnostic is very extensive and comprehensive, the overall high level process used can be distilled down to four (4) easy steps as follows:

  1. Determine Organizational Change Drivers – Through a series of Key stakeholder interviews and work-shops, determine what the top line organizational issues and change drivers are in order to use them as input into diagnosing the organization’s current state

  2. Determine Organization’s Current State Health & Capabilities – Through a series of Key stakeholder interviews and current state assessment work-shops, holistically baseline the company’s top line organizational capabilities – sales, marketing, financial practices, organization, management practices, processes, etc.

  3. Determine Organization’s Desired Future State – While interviewing key stakeholders determine gaps in the current set of holistic capabilities and determine a consensus for key future state capabilities that need to be developed, implemented and/or evolved.

  4. Develop 5Year Future State Fulfillment Road-map – Logically and systemically develop a blueprint for when and how to implement the needed capabilities of the future determined in step #3

Business Change Drivers

Per step #1 of the process, above is an example of a set of high level organizational change drivers that were cultivated through a series of executive interviews.

Organizational Capability Diagnostic Structure

In order to holistically assess an organization’s current state health and capability levels, I have developed a comprehensive and systemic diagnostic process along with structured questions and interview guides used to interview key stakeholders and to conduct assessment work-shops.

Sample Client Organizational Diagnostic Analysis Executive Summary

Sample Client Organizational Diagnostic Analysis Executive Summary

Above is a great tool I use to perform a final read-out summary of an organization’s current state health assessment. The chart is an Excel Spider Chart (Google it and how to create) and is used to benchmark an array of multi-dimensional capabilities. In this example, based on the summary of all interviews and workshops, the red line represents the summary score for seven (7) current state capability areas for a large pharmaceutical client.

The blue line is the summary consensus score for what the organization feels should be the capability levels for the future state for these same seven (7) capability areas.

A green oval represents a small gap between current and future state capability levels; a yellow represents a moderate gap; and, lastly, a red oval highlights a large or very large gap between current and future state capabilities (e.g. Financial Control, Rigor).

People & Organizational Structure Diagnostic

People & Organizational Structure Diagnostic

Above is a sample “deeper dive” into the analysis performed under the capability area “People & Organizational Structure” shown in the previous executive summary chart. In this example, we see that “Communication” and “Management Processes, Policy” have the largest capabilities gaps while “Skills” and “Organizational Structure” have the smallest capability deltas (difference between current state and desired future state).

This is just one article of 40+ I have written on Customer strategy, CRM, marketing, product management, competitive intelligence, corporate innovation, organization excellence & change management – all of which I have significant experience in delivering for Fortune 500 companies.  My blog is now followed by nearly 158,000+ world-wide and was just named one of the top 100 CRM blogs on the planet by Feedspot, alongside Salesforce.com, Infor, Microsoft, SAS, etc. – Reference this informative site here: https://blog.feedspot.com/crm_blogs/

 

Change Management Best Practices & World-Class Change Deployment Methodology

 

slide1

Best Practice Change Management Framework

 

Any change initiative should employ a proven & world-class change management implementation framework

slide2

Best Practice Change Management Project Approach & Plan – Define Goals, Obtain Buy-In

Change Management Methodology: Any change initiative should employ a proven & world-class change management implementation framework. Best Practice Steps to Define Change Goals and Obtain Buy-In for the Change

slide4

Best Practice Change Management Project Approach & Plan – Design Change Approach

Change Management Methodology: Best Practice Steps to Designing a Solid Change Approach

slide5

Best Practice Change Management Project Approach & Plan – Develop and Deploy Change

Change Management Methodology: Best Practice Steps to Developing and Deploying Change

slide6

Best Practice Change Management Project Approach & Plan – Deliver Change Results

Change Management Methodology: Best Practice Steps to Delivering Change Results

slide3

Management’s Crucial Role In Supporting Change

Management Must Have Clearly Articulated Roles in Facilitating and Supporting any Change

slide7

Organizational Change Alignment Possible Outcomes

The graphic above depicts the various change outcomes possible. Following a solid change methodology can ensure the optimal state of “total alignment”

slide8

Change Initiative Ranking Analysis Techniques

A best practice change approach includes proven methods and techniques to evaluate potential change initiatives to undertake

slide9

Typical & Critical Change Initiative Roles & Organizational Structure

A world-class change approach includes mapping out change roles and delivering sufficient training and role change orchestration. This approach ensures that aspect of the organization is pulling together in synergy on every level following the implementation of the change.

slide10

Change Management Initiative Resource Plan

A world-class change approach includes mapping out a change implementation organization including the organizational inter-relationships, special committees and groups as well as specific roles and responsibilities.

slide11

The Role of Middle Management in Change Management

A world-class change approach must include middle management inclusion strategies

slide12

Managing & Mitigating Organizational Change Resistance

Careful Considerations must be made to anticipate and mitigate change resistance, including from middle management

slide13

Executive Support for Change Management

A world-class change approach includes planning how executive support will be applied during any change initiative

slide14

Change Management Strategies for Institutionalizing Change

Best practice change methodologies and strategies can mitigate the pitfalls associated with not institutionalizing a change which risks, over time, organizational drift away from the desired change state.

Change Management 101 Primer for Senior Executives (CEOs, COOs, CSOs, CMOs, CFOs, CCOs, etc.)

The following blog was written to provide a simple primer on Change Management for Top Executives. It is written so you ‘get it’ in 15 minutes or less of reading this article.

Change IS Disruptive, but Change Management Can Mitigate Impacts to Productivity

Change IS Disruptive, but Change Management Can Mitigate The Impact on Productivity

As a business leader, have you ever encountered the following challenges within your company:?

1. Implemented new technology or IT system and people failed to adopt & fully utilize it?

2. Implemented new processes and ways of doing business and your employees continued to follow the older methods?

3. Your competition continually seems to be evolving and innovating, developing new and more effective ways of doing business, while your company culture resists change and new ways of doing business?

The remainder of this blog is dedicated to sharing some of the techniques to get your organization to embrace and be supportive of change.  These change management techniques are based on my years of implementing change at organizations like Macy’s, American Express, Intuit, AT&T, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Oracle, CBS Interactive, Wells Fargo, and numerous other Fortune 500 companies.


Topics in this blog:

1)      What is Change Management – A Simple Definition

2)      Why is it Important?

3)      Why is change resisted by so many employees?

4)      Do all employees approach change the same way and how do you harness the power of the innovators and change ‘early adopters’?

5)      How Change Management Helps Accelerate Change

6)      Change Management Mitigates the Impact on Productivity while Implementing Change

7)      The Organizational Change Model Facilitates Change Success & Greater Business Results

8)      Steps in the Organizational Change Model Ensure Change Project Success

9)      The Importance of the eight (8) Change Management Steps

10)   Summary – Change Management & Innovation Requires a 360°, holistic approach driven by skilled and experienced change management professionals

1)    A simple definition of what change management is:

A Simple Definiton for Change Management

A Simple Definiton for Change Management

2)    Why is change management so important?

Why Is Change Management So Important?

Why Is Change Management So Important?

3)    Why is change resisted by many employees?

Why is change resisted by many employees?

Why is change resisted by many employees?

Bottom Line: Without proper education and motivation, change is naturally resisted within the workplace by all but a few.

4)    Do all employees approach change the same way?

Employee Change Adopter Curve

Employee Change Adopter Curve

As depicted by the above chart, employees range from ardent resisters to innovators. Change management solicits the support from innovators and early adopters to help diffuse organizational change to the remainder of the organization.   

5)    How Change Management Helps Accelerate Change

How Change Management Helps Accelerate Change

How Change Management Helps Accelerate Change

Change management not only removes obstacles to change, it helps develop enthusiasm and excitement for accelerated change in the future. 

6)    Change Management Mitigates the Impact on Productivity While Implementing Change

Change Management Productivity Curve

Change Management Productivity Curve

By having a robust change management methodology and plan, disruptions to business productivity can be minimized until the desired change state is achieved.  

7)    The Organizational Change Model Facilitates Change Success & Greater Business Results

Organizational Change Management Model

Organizational Change Management Model

By having a robust change management methodology and model, change success and enhanced business performance can be nearly guaranteed.

8)    Steps in the Organizational Change Model Ensure Change Project Success

Change Steps in The Change Management Approach

Change Steps in The Change Management Approach

Change projects must have clearly defined and measurable steps that align with the overall change methodology.  This approach greatly enhances the chance that the change project will be successful as well as facilitates the achievement of desired-positive business outcomes.

9)    The Importance of the eight (8) Change Management Steps

The next set of graphs highlight the importance of each step in the change management (project) process:

Step #1

Change Management - Step #1

Change Management – Step #1

Step #2:

Change Management - Step #2

Change Management – Step #2

Step #3:

Change Management - Step #3

Change Management – Step #3

Step #4:

Change Management - Step #4

Change Management – Step #4

Step #5:

Change Management - Step #5

Change Management – Step #5

Step #6:

Change Management - Step #6

Change Management – Step #6

Step #7:

Change Management - Step #7

Change Management – Step #7

Step #8:

Change Management - Step #8

Change Management – Step #8

10)         Summary – Change Management & Innovation Requires a 360°, holistic approach

Holistic Organizational Change Components

Holistic Organizational Change Components

In summary, change management requires leveraging a proven change methodology, skilled change management practitioners and a holistic approach to implementing corporate innovation and change. The above is a simple depiction of a best practice approach I have used on many change management projects at many of the Fortune 500 companies in the US.

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