The Weekly Buzz – Mergers and Acquisitions
Three recent Maestro clients have been acquired this year—ItemMaster, GoCanvas, and Contactually—so we’ve been following a lot of news on the topic. While we’re justly proud of the ways we were able to help these companies position themselves and solidify their revenue streams, we are also wishing them good luck with the sometimes challenging process of merging two corporate cultures.
Getting to Yes
Strategic acquisition is a cause for celebration. While half of start-up leaders think they will be acquired, the data has traditionally shown much smaller percentages. What helped our clients beat the odds? Networking, patience, strong financials, and products or services that complement their new corporate partners.
Ta-dah! Suddenly your company is a lot larger, and you are working across teams with people from a totally different corporate culture and climate. That can cause friction, like in the Amazon–Whole Foods merger, or even corporate intrigue, as in the machinations at Renault–Nissan that led to the downfall of Carlos Ghosn. Michele Gelfand, author of Rule Makers, Rule Breakers, recommends that merging organizations avoid Amazon’s and Whole Foods’ problems by understanding cultural differences ahead of time, compromising, and explaining why changes will occur.
The Berkshire Hathaway Way
Few organizations have pursued acquisitions with as much dedication and success as Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Just this week, CBInsights put out an incredibly cool compilation of insights from 40 years of Buffett’s letters to shareholders. These outline a lot of steps companies can take to enhance the likelihood that an acquisition will turn out profitably for everyone involved.
In the end, mergers aren’t that different from sales. Both rely on the parties involved working to understand one another and communicate around their shared goals. Communicating that shared vision under pressure can be challenging, which is why Maestro recommends roleplaying. Learn more when you check out our latest webinar!