Authenticity is Critical to M&A Success

by Adam Vasquez

Integrating teams isn’t easy. In fact, 70–90% of all mergers and acquisitions fail. But practicing empathy and authenticity can ease the transition for new employees – and turn an uncertain future into a harmonious one.

When we brought on Pipeline Interactive to expand our technology capabilities, we put ourselves in their shoes. What would they want to know about our values, our work, and what we believe in? We created a welcome video as the kickoff to a communications plan that embodied who we are – and what we stand for.

Here’s what else we kept in mind when integrating our teams, and leading the process with an authentic voice.

Have a clear vision.
You’d be surprised how many mergers are completed without a real understanding of how they move the newly-combined team forward. There needs to be a clear, believable vision that everyone understands. How does this move get you closer to accomplishing your strategy?

Go beyond checking boxes.
I’ve seen companies and consulting firms create massive communications matrices and track every little email, 1:1, and offer letter. Tracking is important, but it causes executive teams to focus on getting activities done instead of ensuring the activities are executed well. The executive team should meet with new team members at every level to ensure everyone is engaged.

Avoid 30,000-foot conversations.
After leaders communicate and managers discuss the plan, follow up with middle and lower management to ensure they have discussed the details with their team members. Remember, every team member just wants to know what this means for them on an individual basis.

Make your dialogue real, not robotic.
Skip the canned script and don’t forget that we’re all human – and all want clear, authentic communication. Practice empathy, and understand you may have just thrown someone’s world upside down.


About Adam Vasquez

Adam is the President and CEO of Merit, the global leader in market invention. He is known for his ability to create markets for clients. His efforts have not only achieved many accolades, but have also served as an engine for sustained growth, profitability, and mission success for a number of small, medium and large companies.

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