The Point: The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our expectations of mergers and acquisitions. If speed kills deals, and the coronavirus impact on mergers and acquisitions was not spared, the swiftness of doubt and uncertainty inflicted has shifted business values. As a result, we’re seeing mergers and acquisitions in a new light. So in this post, we present 5 ways coronavirus has changed mergers and acquisitions… Enjoy!
5 Ways Coronavirus has Changed M&A
There are five important shifts in mergers and acquisitions as a result of the coronavirus, which will permanently change the business of merging and/or acquiring businesses:
Change in the Understanding of Employees
Businesses have realized the value of their front-line teams in getting stuff done. Together with the efforts of the team members — many of whom are often at the lower end of the pay scale — many companies could not have lasted through the pandemic. So, how are individual perceptions of meaningful work and a special calling in some specific jobs influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic? It’s only when a crisis hits that we can identify the attractiveness of some functions — while other functions tend to lose out to those identified as low or dull. Ask yourself, who’d be the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for you now — someone who produces the materials/tools/information which you require or your C-Suite leader who coordinates/reports on? Where exactly is the value now? The answers to these questions pose serious implications for M&A.
Shift in Culture Priorities
Being kept apart from friends or family has shown team members where their true priorities lie — and it’s not work. Our relationships to the jobs we conduct have changed as a result of the pandemic. If you asked any part of your team what matters today, it will almost surely be family and their health. That’s where people wish to spend the majority of their time. When you realize that you could lose the people you love most, you see what actually matters. M&A will need to take and work with the changed priorities of organizational culture and the team members because when it comes to a choice, work will not come out on the top.
Change in Empathy and Compassion Expectations
One of the biggest adjustments demands M&A adapt to the individual’s with empathy and compassion. Whether they are in the workplace or working from your home, M&A professionals will need to use their own emotional intelligence (EQ) to understand each person’s situation, pressures, priorities, and values. No longer can M&A think of the organization’s team as a single thing or object — and this can and will be hard. More than ever, M&A will need to reveal themselves as people and build relationships with their own folks. Honest, accurate discussions about work and life will improve connection. Empathy and compassion will solidify it.
Change in the Power of Leadership
Having remote teams has meant leaders needed to step back from the job and let their people manage themselves. The M&A firms who gave their teams some autonomy and decision-making are the ones who have had the best results. It makes sense. To retain power, M&A will be to increase agility and decrease costs for the company in the long run. When you have the right people in the M&A function, don’t be afraid to show your faith in them? It’s time to let go of control over the particulars of people’s work and instead, begin to support them. Be certain they have everything that they need to make the ideal choice and get the job done.
Change in Attention and Direction
If there is one thing we learned during this time, it is that plans can be shattered at the drop of a hat. While planning is still important — Since you have to understand where you’re headed — it’s the results leaders need to concentrate on instead of the journey. Your purpose in M&A is to act as a driver, and that’s what’s going to maintain mergers and acquisitions strategy leading to results — or lack thereof.
I see a significant move from strategy or process-led mergers and acquisitions towards a more agile one. While we still value powerful and elastic M&A, there’s presently a heavy focus on agility at Tip of the Spear.