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M&A Deal Strategy

When we say Clarity, we mean that the context, rationale and strategy of an M&A deal are clear, documented and easily communicated. This includes current business environment, purpose, strategy, expected outcomes, business model and organization culture. In addition, Clarity includes deal rationale and the impact of the deal on: business purpose, strategy, expected outcomes, business model, organization culture, employees, customers and key partners.

It is critical to begin with a clear understanding of business strategy and how M&A contributes to expected business outcomes. But there is more to it than this. Our aim is to understand the complexity around how all of the moving parts fit and impact the system, and then work out how to make powerful and clear messages to create understanding across all players as the foundation for every other aspect of making a deal work.

The immediate first step is to have a Deal Clarity Canvas Workshop with Deal Leaders, followed closely by a Culture Strategy Workshop with the Executive Team, if it has not been done already, to complete the M&A Leadership Canvas. Communication Strategy Development work should follow as early as is feasible.

Deal Clarity Canvas Workshop

After some initial preparation work, we spend a half day with your Deal Leaders to create a one page Deal Clarity Canvas. The Canvas covers context and your business model before any deals are considered, and also documents critical information, risks and decisions about a particular deal. The Canvas becomes the foundation for all of your communication about a deal – starting early when the team is small, right through completion and implementation.

Feedback over the years has been that this process (with supporting templates) shapes conversations that need to be had, clears blind spots and sets up Executives, Deal Teams and Business Leaders for success. It saves time, confusion and frustration, especially when the team involved grows and the deal pace accelerates.

Once we take your team members through the process, they become well-equipped to repeat it for all future deals.

to learn more or to schedule a Deal Clarity Canvas Workshop.

Culture Strategy Workshop

Being well-versed on the culture of your own organization before considering M&A transactions provides a foundation for success.  Ideally, work on culture begins at the beginning of the deal cycle. Progressive focus depends on capturing and bringing forward information from earlier deal stages and, in the best circumstances, the only limiting factor is access to information about your potential partner and their people.

Making a Culture Strategy is part of completing your Deal Clarity Canvas. It requires knowing where you stand currently and also input from your Top Team. We have developed this half- to full-day Culture Strategy Workshop to, first, establish a common understanding of Culture and how it contributes to business outcomes, and then work through how you will leverage Culture in any upcoming deals.

The basics are the same but every Culture Strategy Workshop is different, depending on the culture capability of an organization.

to learn more or to schedule a Culture Strategy Workshop.

Communication Strategy Development Program

When top executives are asked about lessons learned following a merger or acquisition, more often than not they say they would have invested much more energy and effort in communication, even when deals are successful. Too often we see acquisitions or mergers not achieve full potential in a timely way due to confusion, duplication, rework, misaligned messages and/or inertia.

Even when the high level deal strategy is clear we find often there is a gap between what Deal Leaders think they have communicated and what has been understood by their multiple audiences – a risk that touches all areas of a deal. It is important to remember that deal communication (like all communication) runs two ways.

In the Communication Strategy Development Program we work with Deal Leaders to lay the foundation for communication and understanding at all deal stages for identified audiences. This critical work reduces misalignment risks and, on a practical level, saves untold hours and heartache when it comes time to get the word out.

to learn more about our Communication Strategy Development Program.