Readiness is Central to M&A Success

Years ago, a client pinpointed the M&A readiness challenge…“Once the deal took off, our team never caught up.” Admittedly, anyone in the M&A business has had the experience of chasing a speeding train down the tracks after it had already left the station. If you are like me, you vowed never to do that again.

In our work with the M&A Leadership Council, we advocate a deep conviction that M&A success is a learned skill-set. The more you do, the better you get…but only if you work at it as an enterprise-level competency. A word of caution here – we have studied a number of “high deal-count” acquirers that seem to make the same mistakes over and over.

In their excellent new book, The Art of M&A Strategy, authors and M&A Leadership Council Advisory Board members, Kenneth Smith and Alexandra Reed Lajoux, analyzed companies that have consistently succeeded with M&A compared to those that have not. Their conclusion? “These serial acquirers have demonstrated best practices in M&A because when M&A is central to strategy, superior skills in M&A are central to success.

So if superior skills in M&A are central to success, what is it precisely that acquirers have to do to get it right? Over the years we have worked with a number of skilled acquirers to conduct an M&A Strategy & Readiness Assessment to help them answer that question. Every company has somewhat different requirements, but we believe the M&A Partners Enterprise-level M&A Competency Model (linked here) helps move the practice of M&A forward in a significant way. I hope you’ll find this download helpful. We’ll provide additional insights for building your internal M&A capability in future issues.


About the Author:  Mark Herndon is President of M&A Partners LLC.  He specializes in a broad range of strategic and business effectiveness initiatives, including M&A strategy, due diligence and integration management; financing and capital formation; strategy formulation and execution.  Mr. Herndon is the co-author of The Complete Guide to Mergers and Acquisitions: Process Tools to Support M&A Integration at Every Level, (John Wiley / Jossey-Bass Publishers), which has been translated into five languages and is used as a foundational guide for various consulting firms and university programs.