The impact of decentralization and a volatile business climate on post merger integration has been a frequent topic of discussion for executives this past year. Gerald Adolph and Justin Pettit from Booz & Company summed it up in “Making the Most of M&A”:
The most significant risk to a well-designed implementation plan is drift. In a business world that increasingly values decentralization and the empowerment of line managers, keeping a complex, interdependent implementation on course can be a challenge. It requires adherence to the outline of the plan, yet also requires that managers be granted the flexibility needed to adapt to changing circumstances.
On one hand, we need organization-wide visibility and transparency to bring the strategic intent of mergers into reality. On the other, we must allow the line managers and front-line workers to make the right decisions at the point of impact where they uniquely see the changing conditions and can act on the insights when an opportunity arises. What is the forcing function to sustain the core ideal of “One Company”, while affording the flexibility and independence to people with the operating experience and in-depth knowledge of business? One vital factor is the core information service. This subject matter was explored in our recent white paper on “Rewire and Synchronize Information.”
In this paper, we featured a case study of a Global 100 company who succeeded in using scale as an advantage after mergers. What set this global company apart from the pack in their financial performance was their focus on information. Executives in general tend to focus on processes and infrastructure integrations after mergers. But the company did not stop there. They focused on tapping information to operate effectively, from gaining customer insights to project bidding to how to staff and deliver a project leveraging a pool of global resources.
Synchronizing information catalyzes an organization to break down divisional, product, and functional silos – yet silos are often too common after mergers. Even after years of integration efforts, many organizations never reap the full benefits from their expanded presence and combined customer base. They operate by implicit formulas or known approaches built by the back-office workers and executives in the ivory towers. Questioning the status quo can be tricky but with the power of trusted, shared information, barriers can be broken, turning into breakthroughs. “Rewire and Synchronize Information” also covers how to gain competitive advantages with information in other scenarios beyond M&A. It would be great to hear your thoughts on this topic.