One Client’s M&A Integration Story
The Client: The CEO of an automotive manufacturer whose strategy was to grow internally and through acquisition. Growth targets for both were set at 10-15% per year to bring in new products, new, processes, and new customers.
The Challenge: How to integrate many new companies and many new colleagues while simultaneously evolving the company’s strategy and values.
The Process: In the first year the company held four large-group Whole-Scale® events. The first two-day event was for senior leaders. The purpose of the first event was to begin to develop the company strategy and culture. The remaining three were one-day meetings for the extended leadership group. At the end of those four events more than sixty leaders in the company had agreed on the company Mission, Vision, Values, and three-year Goals and had developed and implemented a short-term transition plan.
In year two, the company held one-day “reunions” about every six months. These reunions included up to 300 salaried and hourly colleagues from across the company. The purpose of these was to continue to strengthen the culture and to align more colleagues around the strategy. In each year these sessions were used to deepen the knowledge, understanding and practice of a key part of the culture. For example, one meeting focused on empowerment, another on leadership and, one on commitment.
For each acquisition, DTA developed a “24 hour” integration accelerator event to jump start the integration process. Participants in these sessions included the company leadership team, salaried and hourly colleagues from throughout the parent company, and leadership, salaried and hourly employees of the acquired company. These events helped build relationships among the key players in the transition, clarify key issues for the transition and short-term deliverables, set work groups into motion on activities such as HR policy integration and financial systems integration, and address some of the fears of everyone involved.
Results: Over four years the company made six acquisitions and grew from two locations to 40 sites. The company went from 400 employees to 9000 employees in that period. Revenues increased from $83M to in excess of $1.8B.