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Merger Integration Workshops


Mergers represent opportunities for unconventional growth. However, mergers often fail to achieve the desired objectives regarding synergistic value creation and profitability as well as improvement in organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

Many organizations do not have an experienced team in house to deliver on the promise of the merger value proposition. The challenge becomes bringing the merger leadership team up to speed quickly, with the correct vision, approach, practices and understanding of risks to ensure success in both time and synergy realization.

Inteq’s five Merger Integration workshops form a cohesive strategic approach to merger execution and are specifically designed to provide your merger leadership teams with the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve the specific objectives of the merger within the timeline necessary. The workshops are customizable to address the specific scale and complexity of the merger.

Solution Workshop Details:

  • Work session prework by workshop participants and Inteq consultants prior to the initiation of the live portion of the workshop.
  • Intensive live work sessions, facilitated by Inteq, with your team (subject matter experts, management and leadership) to develop actionable outcomes and deliverables.
  • Post work session forward planning to enable workshop participants to successfully use, apply and integrate the workshop deliverables and outcomes into associated projects and initiatives.
  • A solution workshop is typically conducted over 2-3 weeks depending on the scope of the workshop.

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Positioning the Integration Team for Success:

The First Critical Steps in the Merger Integration Planning Process

Research indicates that more than 50% of merger integrations fail to deliver a positive return on value. Integrations that deliver positive value often fail to meet leadership’s stated value objectives. Thorough preparation for integration is foundational to optimizing the value and time-to-value of the integration.

It’s essential that the integration team, prior to closing the “deal”, establish the appropriate integration strategy and guiding principles for the integration, identify the value drivers and metrics for success, address key strategic questions and identify the vision for the completed integration.

Workshop Key Activities and Deliverables

Workshop participants work together with the Inteq team to:

  • Identify the integration strategy to be utilized.
  • Capture the integration guiding principles.
  • Identify the value drivers and rationale for the deal.
  • Answer key strategic questions.
  • Identify the extent of the integration.
  • Identify the “non-negotiables”.
  • Define the end state vision and expected timeline.

Who should attend?

The workshop is designed for decision makers responsible for leading the post-merger integration as well as functional personnel within each layer of the organization who are expected to play a key part in the integration.  For example, a workshop could include the organization's C-level and senior leadership team, or divisional/business unit leadership and management, or functional/department management along with those individuals selected to work within an Integration Management Office framework.

Each layer has different roles, responsibilities, objectives, and risks with respect to integration planning and execution. Each workshop is tailored to the specific organization and to the organizational layer represented by the participants.

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Defining the Scope of Integration:

Provide strategic direction and ongoing guidance of the integration scope of work.

Effective governance involves establishing the appropriate team structures and protocols so that the right people are involved at the right times, in the right sequence, provide the right information, achieve the right goals - as opposed to teams operating independently of one another and often at strategic cross-purposes.

Given the considerable value that organizations place on mergers and acquisitions an integration is not the time to risk the financial, operational and brand health of the organization. To bring order to what would otherwise be disorder and chaos, the workshop creates a clear hierarchy for the integration effort which enables efficient and effective coordination and collaboration towards a common vision.

Workshop Key Activities and Deliverables

Workshop participants work together with the Inteq team to:

  • Identify integration roles and responsibilities.
  • Craft and understand the necessary rules of engagement.
  • Identify integration workstreams and prioritize those workstreams.
  • Identify the scope of work for each workstream.
  • Create integration workstream charters.

Who should attend?

Participants from the Positioning the Integration Team for Success workshop plus any additional stakeholders that can provide additional insight into appropriate governance structures and integration scope.

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Assessing Integration Risk:

Attacking the twin “X” factors of Integration Head On.

There are many risks associated with merger integration that will be discussed and analyzed in this workshop. Leadership is typically most concerned with future financial performance, future operational performance, key personnel and customer retention, and potential cultural risks and conflict.

Organizational culture and cultural change are particularly challenging. Critical cultural change issues must be addressed head on – quickly and clearly. No tiptoeing or equivocating on this one!

Key Activities and Deliverables

Workshop participants work together with the Inteq team to:

  • Do a structured deep dive into the most common integration risks.
  • Capture integration risks and contingency plans.
  • Identify the critical “Day 1” activities and risks.
  • Identify key risk mitigation strategies.
  • Perform cultural due diligence, operating style analysis and cultural assessment.
  • Identify cultural integration strategies.

Who should attend?

Participants from the Create Governance Structure and Define Integration Scope workshop plus any additional stakeholders that can provide additional insight into expected integration risks and cultural integration concerns.

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Develop the Communications Plan

Planning for and executing communications regarding mergers and merger integration is essential on every level. Mergers are a fast-moving, fast-breaking story. Every day brings new developments.

The messaging, communication channel(s) and timing needs to be “right.” Failure to get the communications "right" can lead directly to an organization's inability to retain key personnel, maintain staff morale necessary to ensure future success and keep the up momentum required for integration success.

“Truth” is a moving target and often obsolete when communicated. A well-crafted communication plan combined with proper execution of the plan reduces staff anxiety and cynicism and maintains leadership’s credibility.

Rumors fly as soon as people pick up the first subtle vibe that a merger is in the works. This is high drama. Everybody has an opinion and all the rules of gossip prevail. Everyone wants to know “how does this impact me.”

In this tense environment it is easy for messages to be misinterpreted, twisted and/or exaggerated. Gaps in communication are interpreted and individually filled in by staff affected by the merger – often based on the most negative assumptions and scenarios.

Communication planning requires much more thought in a merger than it does during more stable, less stressful circumstances. Yet most key managers receive little education regarding what to say, how to say it and what not to say.

Practically everything that is communicated is taken seriously, studied for innuendo, or held up to the light for subtle implications. Many merger integration problems trace back to communication problems.

Workshop Key Activities and Deliverables

Workshop participants work together with the Inteq team to:

  • Identify the communications objectives and planning guidelines.
  • Perform stakeholder analysis and identify communication needs for the organization.
  • Create communication plans for Prior to Day 1, Day 1 and post-Day 1.
  • Identify staffing and retention key considerations.
  • Assess post-merger staffing requirements.
  • Identify key talent retention strategies.

Who should attend?

Participants from the Assessing Risk workshop plus any additional stakeholders that can provide additional insight into your organization's communications, staffing and retention needs.

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Develop Project Integration Playbooks:

Putting It All Together

A merger integration plan outlines how and when major resources, assets and processes of the acquiring and acquired companies will be combined to achieve the goals of the deal.

The workshop applies a proven best practice integration planning methodology (playbook) to clearly define and provide visibility to the integration steps and activities.

A clear, carefully crafted integration plan helps align expectations, validates that the work ahead is logical and achievable, and transforms staff skepticism to optimism.

Key Activities and Deliverables

Workshop participants work together with the Inteq team to:

  • Create playbooks.
  • Review phase/activities/tasks for coherence and accuracy.
  • Review and confirm initial estimates for synergy rollup.
  • Identify requirements for iterative integration plan modifications still needing to be addressed.
  • Identify next steps for the organization, team, and impacts to timeline.
  • Identify risks not yet mitigated and requiring action.

Who should attend?

Participants from the Developing Communications, Staffing and Retention Plans workshop plus any additional stakeholders that can provide additional insight into your organization's overall integration effort and synergy expectations.

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Contact Us to Discuss a Strategy Execution Workshop
Customized to Your Specific Needs and Objectives

Merger Integration Workshops Q&A

Q: Do these workshops need to be conducted in the sequence above?
A: The sequence of the five workshops reflects the best practice steps for preparing to execute the integration.

If your organization has extensive experience with the integration of mergers and acquisitions and has internal best practice templates, we can create a workshop or workshop series to address any gaps in your templates.

If your organization does not have extensive experience with merger integration, we recommend the series of workshops described above. And with all workshops, each workshop is fitted to your organization’s unique needs and objectives.

Q: What is the optimal time to conduct Merger Integration workshops?
A: It’s essential that the activities and deliverables described in the Merger Integration workshop series are complete prior to closing the merger to enable the integration team to hit the ground on Day 1.

The workshops should start as soon as leadership is confident that the merger will move forward. A significant amount of the diligence work and related deliverables created by the acquisition team can be leveraged to jump-start the integration workshops.