The fundamental premise of any merger is that the merging entities will be more valuable together than they are separately.–George Bradt

Mergers seem to be happening with great frequency. It could be between teams, organizations, and even companies. As leaders, we’re required to consistently look at “doing more with less”, improving processes, and ensuring we have the right people in the right job.  Bottom line – there’s always a need to reduce costs and improve value.

Brad Gevurtz, D.A. Davidson & Co. reported that mergers and acquisitions were down in 2016 from 2015 ($3.84 trillion globally vs. $4.66 trillion in 2015), yet 2016 was considered a strong year, and the forecast is that mergers will increase this year.

What does that mean to us as leaders? Mergers are a form of change and we don’t always spend sufficient time assessing the “people/human” impact and the impact to our existing culture.

How and who will be impacted? What’s the likelihood performance and productivity will suffer during the merger? How will the merged teams/organizations function? What will it take to keep our culture strong? What are the new expectations from the CEO and senior leadership team?

We need to start by communicating the specific value of the merger, we need to identify all changing roles, and whether or not our vision and mission have changed. We need to share the behaviors and build relationships that will make the merger successful, and ideally we will obtain buy-in.

It’s also a good time to ASK your staff about their perceptions and feelings. A simple survey can provide a wealth of information, and there are many tools and assessments available that provide invaluable information about teams and individuals.

Team Dimensions is one such tool. It identifies what role each person plays on the team (creator, advancer, flexer, refiner, or executor), helps understand group priorities, makes the team aware of the contributions and value each person brings to the process, and how to most effectively work together.

Another helpful tool is DiSC Workplace. Individuals and teams learn how to build better relationships, regardless of title or role, and improves the quality of the culture. Participants understand and appreciate differing styles, and create strategies for overcoming challenges.

All in all, mergers will continue, and as always, success is more likely achieved when there is a clear vision, shared goals, with team members aligned and truly believe that value will increase when the team works together.

What are you doing to ensure your team supports your strategies that reduce costs and improve value?


Corporate culture is the only truly sustainable competitive advantage and the root cause of any merger’s failure or success. —George Bradt