Building In-House M&A Competencies: You Can't Do What You Don't Know!

by Jack Prouty
President of the M&A Leadership Council

One of our workshop Alumni suggested we feature a series on building in-house competencies in our monthly newsletter.   In each issue we’ll emphasize one of our key workshop points as a focus for best practices or capabilities.

Prior to launching resources onto M&A activities, it is important to on-board those resources with a basic training on M&A. This training/educational course can be a general one for serial acquirers or a just-in-time course for the launch of a specific M&A project, but should be similar to the public workshop offered by the M&A Leadership Council.  One of our clients is in the process of developing a self-paced training video designed for those targeted for a role in an upcoming M&A transaction.

Here are the basic elements that should be covered in this orientation/training course: the company’s strategy for growth through M&As; the business case for effective M&A execution (critical success factors, lesson learned, why deals fail); the life cycle of an M&A (from target selection through due diligence and into integration planning and implementation); key focus and activities at each stage in the M&A; how M&As will be organized and managed; and  roles and responsibilities.

Drawing a parallel with going into battle:  would we go into battle without taking our troops through basic training; equipping them for war; informing them on the battle’s objectives and approach; and ensuring that the army is properly lead, organized and managed? Why wouldn’t we do the same thing with an M&A in which we are spending millions of dollars, have set Board expectations of achieving significant synergies, and to which we are committing significant resources?  When we think of it that way, we realize that the stakes are really pretty high and there could be a lot to lose if we don’t prepare.

Your Challenge: 
     “You Can’t Do What You Don’t Know”
Recommended Solution: 
     On-Site Training / “The Basics of Effective M&A”

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