Chapter 15. Earthshaking Events

Buying is fun; merging is hell.

—Group vice president of an acquiring company

If linking people to strategy represents a major challenge during normal times—whatever normal is these days—creating the linkage during and after a merger or acquisition raises the challenge exponentially.

Few events in the corporate life cycle jolt an organization as much. Managing through them is the equivalent of a high-wire balancing act. For people inside the organization, they're a reliable source of anxiety and uncertainty, and with good reason. The odds of success are usually less than even.

Various studies have concluded that from one-third to one-half of all acquisitions in the Unites States are subsequently divested. A Simon ...

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