In M&A it is crucial to avoid damaging the value of the deal. It is therefore essential to be patient and plan and develop your processes. In my experience, the most common problems are related to people – how they respond to change, their resistance to it and their reaction when something doesn’t go according to expected.

One of the most important tasks we provide to our clients is to assist them in setting up a procedure that allows them to recognize possible issues early and then respond quickly. It could be such things as having a weekly meeting in which the IMO and functional work streams review their progress against the plan and escalate issues and risks to the SteerCo.

After the process of solving issues has been established, it is important to concentrate on implementing. It’s essential to ensure that the team members know what they’re expected to do, how they will be evaluated and when. It also includes clearly defining accountability (i.e. ownership of the final outcome) and the authority to make decisions for the whole integrated business.

It is crucial to ensure that the CEO and top management are able to devote at 90% of their time focusing on core business matters and avoid being distracted by integration activities. It’s a good idea to appoint a leader who can manage the Decision Management Office and coordinate work streams. The person could be from the company that is acquiring it or be a rising star within the merged organization who has the support of their boss.