Building on yesterday’s takeaways around CEO Impact, things to take particularly seriously and not being alone, the main additional ideas from Day II of the CEO Connection Mid-Market Convention were:

    1. CEOs need to take a broader, societal perspective around social media and social impact.
    2. When it comes to onboarding teams following mergers and acquisitions you can’t spend enough time on preparation, communication during the event and following through for success.
    3. The need for so much more due diligence than you ever imagined when it comes to accessing capital, tax policies, emerging markets and cyber security.


Broader Societal Perspective

There has been a seismic shift in social media. There are now 288,000 CEOs on Twitter. It’s time to start leading your organization by your example. When engaging in social media as yourself, do it yourself.

The same is true for corporate social impact. 75% of Millennials will pay more for products with a social benefit. They want to make a difference and work for companies that care. So, it’s time for an intentionally integrated social impact business strategy across product development, your supply chain, marketing, human resources and investing. Join the social impact movement. Fix the parts of your supply chain you’re “not proud of”. Query your stakeholders.


Team Onboarding Following Mergers And Acquisitions


  • Know what you want out of an acquisition and why: Market share? Revenue diversification? Geographic or sales channel expansion? Cost synergy opportunities?
  • Cast a wider funnel in evaluating possible acquisitions to allow for downside and upside surprises.
  • Set realistic expectations around organic growth and future tuck-in acquisitions.
  • Clarify whether this is going to be a marriage of equals (not likely) or of a dominant and submissive.
  • Look to build partnerships based on complementary strengths.
  • Get your own house in order first so you have the infrastructure and talent you need to manage the acquisition.



  • Plan in detail. 100-Day plans for team onboarding are a must.
  • Over-communicate at every step of the way ideally led by a single integration leader. No one will pay attention to anything you do or say until they know how the acquisition is going to impact them personally.
  • Write and live the story.


Living together:

  • Weddings and honeymoons are just events. Manage well beyond the close and the first 100-days with ongoing coaching and mentoring of the new team.


Break up:

  • Not all will make it. Treat those that won’t be part of the ongoing team with the respect of having adult conversations so they can plan in advance for their own futures.


Due Diligence When Accessing Capital, Tax Policies, Emerging Markets And Cyber Security

In God We Trust. All others require due diligence.

When it comes to accessing capital, the market is hot. The future is not. So, fix your interest rates today. Fix your valuations today. Get the cash you need today to prepare for tomorrow. But get your own house (and reporting) in order yesterday. Similar to acquisition prospects, cast a wider funnel, looking at debt, private equity, family office and public sources of funding. And do your due diligence to make sure your funders’ timing is aligned with yours and watching out for “loan to own” lenders.

The same is true for your tax policies. You should probably invest more time in identifying your tax approach and planning to turn it into a profit center. There’s probably more you can learn about state and jurisdictional opportunities.

Tread carefully in emerging markets understanding the trade off between growth rates and political, product, labor and capital risks. Leverage enablers like partners, consultants, agents and knowledgeable peers.

Finally, when it comes to cyber security think prevention not reaction. You will be hacked. You need to have a system to know when that’s happened as breeches generally take 225 days to be uncovered and cost on average $6MM+. Accept the implications of this need on your IT spend and cross-functional involvement.

More after next year’s convention.