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The M&A Formula by Ian Horley, Peter Zink Secher

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3Communicative Leadership (Step 2)

What drives M&A success is not necessarily the opposite of what drives M&A failure, with the exception of one thing. People.

The final writing of this book took place in Belfast, Northern Ireland. We were trying to think of a few examples where people were responsible for the failure of a deal. We remembered the big bank merger where people aligned themselves with different colors, but we needed a stronger example. Then we looked out the window.

Obviously, the creation of Northern Ireland and its absorption into the UK cannot be compared with an M&A deal, but there is an interesting analogy there—that people can (and will) fight long and hard against something they don't like. Don't ever allow that to happen when you work with people and M&A transactions, both parties will fail and there will be no winners.

Of course, we are not saying that our M&A Formula can bring about world peace, but there are countless real-world examples of people being ‘acquired’ against their will, and fighting back against the ‘acquirers.’ If history has taught us one thing, it is that we need to respect the people around us if we want to avoid conflict. Make sure that the people who need to follow you post-deal feel that they belong and are highly respected throughout the process. That's the one thing you never want to fail on.

Lesson #1 in M&A Leadership: Drive Hard with Soft Management Tools

The whole idea behind business model-driven M&A is to secure full ...

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