A Guide To Mastering The Organizing Skills For M&A

A Guide To Mastering The Organizing Skills For M&A

Three major people components need to be embraced for maintaining operational alignment during an integration process. The skills, motivation and the quality of people deployed for the Integration.

G. Nilakantan Dr Srinivasan R IyengarUpdated: Friday, November 17, 2023, 12:26 PM IST
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Dr. Srinivasan Iyengar and G Nilakantan (L-R) | Special Arrangement

Every organization is designed with differentiation and division of workforce as the basic principles of management. This differentiation and division of the workforce is based on function, skill, technology, geography, processes, and hierarchy to carry out a standardized set of activities as per the operating plans.

During an M&A process, there would be a sudden spurt of non-standardized activities that the organization missed comprehending. Three major people components need to be embraced for maintaining operational alignment during an integration process. The skills, motivation, and quality of the people deployed for integration The organization should focus its efforts on addressing the challenges of carrying out non-standardized processes by several intergroups, which are influenced by group dynamics.

After having elaborated on A- Acclimatize and accommodate; E – Engage with stakeholder; I-Involve every employee; but this article discusses O-Organise all processes, systems, norms, and set expectations.

Organize all processes, systems, and norms and set expectations

Organizing work during M&A is the process of planning and executing the integration of two or more companies after a merger or acquisition. It involves aligning the goals, strategies, cultures, and operations of the combined entity, as well as managing the change and communicating with various stakeholders. Organizing work during M&A can be challenging and complex, but it is essential for realizing the value and synergies of the entities successfully.

Components of organizational skills

First, organizations have to tackle the day-to-day burning issues: customer problems, product and service quality, and process issues. This tends to be a combination of addressing the consequences of things that are far away from the key metrics and also of unexpected events due to the integration.

Second, organizations need the team to be motivated, engaged, and involved to address the processes that need to be fixed, including customer management, supply and distribution management, human resource management, and, at the same time, product and market development, while maintaining the momentum of the entities.

Third, organizations need to set up teams to tackle the major issues of risks, communication, knowledge and information systems, employee motivation, review, and governance. Both entities need to also be conscious of the informal organizational hierarchy.

These three components require a great deal of organizing capability from the leaders of both entities. The success of the integration depends on how organizations manage all the activities seamlessly, and this calls for a focused approach to organizing skills.

Successful integration depends on how the various processes, systems, norms, and employees are connected to the overall goals of the organization. It has to be transparent, diligently planned, and executed with rigor. Organizing plays a very critical and important role in successful integration.

Organizations need to start by setting up an M&A integration team. Acclimatize, engage, and involve all stakeholders, as discussed in my previous articles. Prepare a detailed plan and fix the boundaries of integration. Assign responsibilities and accountabilities with timelines. Reward and recognize the efforts of all stakeholders. Establish the rigor of controls and governance, and finally empower teams to implement the integration plan and monitor the progress and results.

Organizing efforts during M&A requires a lot of coordination and collaboration among different functions and teams, such as finance, legal, human resources, IT, marketing, sales, etc. It is also defined by the clarity of vision and leadership from the top management and the integration managers.

Organizing calls for leaders from both entities to understand the areas of collaboration. This would entail getting all the practices, policies, processes, and team together and then identifying the best fit for both entities. Decisions pertaining to the organization design, binding employees with mechanical solidarity where people think and act alike rooted in a collective understanding, or organic solidarity where employees are bound by cohesion resulting from a higher degree of complementarity and interdependence

Mechanical solidarity may arise with the standardization of systems, processes, and procedures that can be common to both entities. Organic solidarity, on the other hand, may be adopted with the principle of hyper-collaboration, complementing each other through strong interdependence.

Considering the right fit approach while defining the integration goals and the intent of the managers to communicate with all employees and clarify their queries should be the foremost activity. This will clearly set the right expectations.

Communicating the expectations to all the stakeholders and clarifying the intent without any inhibitions will yield better engagement and involvement from employees. Highly engaged, involved employees will put in their efforts to make the integration successful and post-integration adoption seamless.

Collaboration, coordination, and direction of activities during an M&A integration process call for a deep dive into organizing capabilities in bringing together people, processes, systems, tasks, activities, and efforts. Organizing has a significant impact on the performance and culture of the merged entity, so it is important to plan and execute it carefully and effectively.

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