The #1 job of a CEO is vision and values. That true for mergers & acquisitions (M&A) as well. Owning the vision means making sure the tactical merger & acquisition choice matches the overarching company strategy. Owning the values means making sure the merger or acquisition is culturally accretive.
Since 83% of mergers & acquisitions fail, we know most CEOs don’t get this right. Coupling that with knowing that 70%+ of value creation for growth-oriented private equity firms comes from inorganic growth leads to the conclusion that those that do get this right reap oversized rewards.
At this point, it’s fair to expect Yahoo’s employees to feel a lot like abused children. They don’t know who to follow or what to expect. Lanzone has to earn the right to lead before he leads. No one is going to follow him until they believe he’s going to survive. The trap Lanzone cannot fall into is assuming that what made him successful before will make him successful at Yahoo. It’s very different being the new kid on the block and moving into a house that’s already on fire.
We know that 83% of mergers fail. We keep doing them because the upside to success is so huge. That success comes only when the vision, values and integration are right. While the CEO must own the vision and values, having a separate integration process leader reduces risk and accelerates progress. You can best lead that integration with a BRAVE outside-in approach:
Environment – Understand the context and type of integration you’re leading.
Values – Clarify what matters and why to the CEO and other key stakeholders.
Attitude – Make choices around strategy, culture, organization, operations, and your own role over time.
Relationships – Build mutual trust and confidence with the top leadership team, the integration team, and the combined organization’s future leadership.
Behaviors – Accelerate to future capabilities.
General David Petraeus has a unique insight into America’s mistakes in Afghanistan. It turns out his five key lessons can help you avoid similar mistakes in your business if you:
Fill gaps before someone else does.
Turn thinking into action with practical impact.
Leverage unequal strengths to lead.
Stand for something, not just against things.
Lead through the short-term for the long-term.
When a meeting is predominantly in-person, those joining remotely inevitably miss some of the conversation in the room – especially when more than one person is speaking at the same time. (Which, of course, never happens in any of your meetings.) And they miss all the side conversations during the meeting and during breaks. It’s physically impossible for them to get as much out of meetings as do those in-person.
Conversely, if the meeting is predominantly remote, the remote people each have their own screen and camera, while the in-person people share them. Those attending in-person have to fight with the other people in the room for air time.
This suggests first prize is to have everyone in-person. Second prize is to have everyone remote. This means the people actually in the office should still each join as they would remotely. There is no third prize. Blended meetings are doomed to fail.
Note connecting two live meetings does work, as all are on equal footings: