Readiness is Central to M&A Success

Mark Herndon headshot
By Mark Herndon
Chairman, M&A Leadership Council
Jul 13, 2016

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.

"When M&A is central to strategy, superior skills in M&A are central to success."

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 precisely do 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 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 articles.

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