Mergers and acquisitions can represent a particularly unstable time for any two businesses. Whether coming together across organizational synergies or departing to establish separate entities with stand-alone values and focus, M&A’s or de-mergers are a challenging prospect.
Much more than just assets, staffing and locations, there are considerations such as shared IT systems, and of course, the cultural impact for both businesses. According to a report released in August by Deloitte and Corporate Board Member magazine, when integrating merged companies, 47% of surveyed directors and 51% of CFOs stated that achieving cultural fit is their number one worry. "Cultural integration remains more unpredictable, and therefore a riskier proposition," says Henry Ristuccia, partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and global leader, Governance, Risk and Compliance Services, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.
The same can be said of de-mergers as the separating companies need to redefine themselves in light of their new focus and specific business proposition. They need to break away from the previously aligned brand image and messaging and redefine themselves and their internal culture in line with their new way forward.
… and the intranet?
There are a lot of approaches to making this transitional period as smooth as possible and one tool that can be vital in achieving this is the corporate intranet. More specifically a new corporate intranet. Modern intranets can offer a great deal of collaborative functionality and deliver real productivity gains, but they can also drive corporate culture, proliferate brand messaging internally, and disseminate timely and important information. All of this can be used to support organizational change and minimize impact on staff and operations.
Access to information
One of the most important aspects of any merger or acquisition is to provide relevant and pertinent information to all employees. As previously mentioned the companies involved are in a state of flux and by providing simple and easy access to information around corporate changes, organizations' will help employees feel reassured and also drive a sense of control and stability. The new intranet can be a highly engaging platform for the dissemination of this information.
Speaking of employee engagement
With ready access to information employees not only know what is going on, but are engaged with the change. It is easy for employees to feel disconnected from the business as it shifts working practices and values. The careful application of your internal comms platform and the correct messaging can take a de-merger or merger from ‘uncertain outcome’ to ‘exciting future’ in a few clicks of a mouse. Used effectively your intranet can also ensure unified messaging. Rather than relying on word of mouth or departmental management of information sharing, ensure that all users have as much insight into upcoming changes as possible by centrally managing messaging for maximum impact and consistency.
Giving employees a voice
Better than just notifying your staff about the impact of any M&A activity, why not give them a voice to ask management about the changes and engage with one another. Enterprise social tools can open up bottom to top communication and feedback, as well as supporting comms across business units. An internal community can come together, support one another, and may even contribute insights into planned changes adding value all round.
Internal brand proliferation and value enforcement
Any M&A action will have an impact on an organization's brand. Whether unifying under a single banner or redefining your standalone business, your brand is going to change as might your values. Handling this brand re-envisioning is essential to its successful adoption, and the intranet can be the perfect hub for spreading this quality internally. Once it has stuck internally your people will find it a lot easier to embody your brand and values with your customers.
Large scale migration issues
When considering the impact of M&A activity new systems can completely circumnavigate large scale migration issues. It’s that simple. In many scenarios the time, effort and money involved in the disentanglement or the integration of existing platforms can be substantial. It could be faster and easier to invest in new IT platforms, simultaneously offering an opportunity invest in new technology for maximum impact.
Speed is key
Nine times out of ten speed is key in M&A activity. It can be somewhat like a band aid, the longer it takes to complete the more painful and drawn out the entire process becomes. The cloud can certainly help to combat some of this challenge. The cloud will allow you to stand up new systems much faster and delivers more readily scalable systems, supporting user base and storage need fluctuations.
Added Extras: Mobility
Chances are that during a merger or acquisition you will see at least a small amount of disruption to regular working patterns. A mobile ready intranet will keep your people connected to valuable resources outside the office and on the go offering the flexibility needed.
Added Extras: Business intelligence
The intranet is the perfect platform to surface data from LOB applications delivering insight into the success of any M&A activity. Manage and measure KPI’s within the intranet making for simple reporting on big wins and areas of improvement during this transitional period. Insights from this data could prove invaluable.
Talk to BrightStarr today to learn more about our intranet and portal services and how we can support your upcoming merger or acquisition.