The seven deadly sins of M&A

If any of the following ‘sins’ are committed you are guaranteed deal failure

Poor financial and human capital due diligence – the former results in money being left on the table. The latter leads to unanticipated integration costs.

Delaying the start and dragging out the finish – if integration drags on with issues left unresolved, productivity suffers and takes longer for synergies to be realised.

Allowing divergent initiatives – integration can be viewed as a race in which the objective is to have everyone cross the finish line together. By allowing divergent initiatives, you delay crossing that line.

Taking too long to answer the ‘me’ issues – you can expect a drop in productivity while employees search for answers to the questions that are important to them. Both the duration and magnitude of the drop are within your control.

Insufficient communication – if you do not communicate enough, you effectively create an information void quickly filled with rumour and innuendo.

Putting no-one in charge – the M&A team needs a ‘go-to person’ who can make things happen. The project leader must be someone who is respected and has the authority to make decisions.

Ignoring project management disciplines – perhaps the deadliest sin of all, given the risks of such a major project. Disciplined project management is the only way to plan, monitor and measure your progress to achieve your goals.


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