The Point: Recent research by Harvard Business Review reported that the rate of failure in most mergers and acquisitions is around 70% to 90%. So what made this possible? This is simple anyway – a company that focus mostly on what to get from an acquisition is less likely to succeed than a company that focus majorly on what it has to give it (Think of this as a play-off of the “In order to get, you have to give” principle). This truth was also echoed from Adam Grant’s book “Give and Take” – stating that people who are keen to giving rather than on taking, especially within the interpersonal/business realm often later do better than those that concentrate more on increasing their own position. In this post we’ll discuss how mergers and acquisitions can be among those deemed successful… Enjoy!
Value Creation: The Secret to M&A Success?
Being successful with mergers &acquisition has long been proven to be challenging, yet there have been records of serial acquirers who are more successful with M&A than other companies who occasionally make an acquisition. The major secret behind this success is value creation.
Creating value is regarded as the real essence of any business – it can be easy to forget about this important concept when trying to merge and acquire a new company. Value should be concrete/real, and creating this should always have a positive effect on any business. Most products of true value are embedded with definite way(s) of serving consumers – through a service, for instance, value is being created.
The basic premise of any merger should be that merging parties create greater value together rather than in pre-merger (or while separate entities). Value creation is supposed to be executed by all mergers, yet about 80% of mergers fail to follow this fundamental leadership principle.
Other than making a compulsory effort for creating value, there are also other things that will determine the success or failure of mergers & acquisitions. Below are 3 tips that can help an acquirer improve its competitiveness and increase the chance of succeeding.
3 Tips for Any Acquirer to Improve its Competitiveness
Tip #1: Develop a Clear Strategy
There must be a clear strategy coupled with an open communication channel between stakeholders. Failure to identify a strategy and communicate will hinder the merger or acquisition in delivering desired results. There should be transparency in the process, likewise, it must be realistic and every area of management should be involved for success.
Tip #2: Allow a Wide Range Engagement
When the purpose of mergers & acquisitions are well defined and regularly communicated to stakeholders, market share and growth will allow a natural process to be managed and make goals more realistic. There would be some challenges along the way for sure. However, your strategy must assess any potential risks and challenges that may surface during the process.
By carefully utilizing some employee engagement programs with other strategies built around communication, M&As can operate successfully – it should be at the center of their overarching strategy.
Tip #3: Use a Board and Specialists from Outside
It is a smart approach to build an advisory board regardless of M&A stage – this should include heads of departments, major stakeholders, some internal staff and specialists from outside the organizations to assist with the process.
With the help from an independent source, great business decisions can be validated, claims can be challenged and leadership has a better ability to stay on track toward set goals. A specialist from outside will ensure that employees acquire needed support via a merger or acquisition (See the previous comments on transparent communication and employee engagement surveys).
In this post titled “The Leadership Challenge: Will Your M&A be a Success or Failure?” we have discussed how not all mergers & acquisitions will succeed (In fact, a high percentage often fail!) To succeed, mergers and acquisitions could run smoother (i.e., achieve better results in less time) by applying the 3 Tips discussed above.
PS – If you or your organization are challenged as a result of M&A activity, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line and request future post titles!