What's Your M&A "TQ"?

Mark Herndon headshot
By Mark Herndon
Chairman, M&A Leadership Council
Sep 7, 2016

Do you know your organization’s M&A training quotient (“TQ”)? Most executives don’t. Is there any wonder why acquirer’s make the same mistakes over and over again?

Even pre-crash, the percentage of internal staff members leading, working on or supporting a live M&A transaction or integration that had received some form of bona fide training on M&A hovered at no more than 10-15%. Let’s be clear about this number. This is not a percentage of total employment. This is the percentage of key resources tasked with creating deal success: the leaders, deal teams, business unit and functional leaders, and task forces.

After ripping out or redirecting much internal M&A capacity during the recession, it has just been in the last 2-3 years that executives are once again getting serious about ramping up their internal M&A capabilities. Building M&A as an enterprise competency, by definition, should include training. (See Readiness is Central to M&A Success for a copy of the M&A Partners Enterprise Competency Model.)

"Very, very few acquirers have begun to think holistically about a comprehensive M&A training strategy and curriculum.”

We can tell you from experience that the investment in training creates tremendous returns and we are huge fans of many of the popular service providers and educational programs widely available. But we can also tell you that very, very few acquirers have even begun to think holistically about a comprehensive M&A training strategy and curriculum. The M&A Partners – Training Plan Sample will  help. 

As a thought starter for your organization, here are some of the key principles that one recent client developed to guide its overall M&A training strategy.

  • Executives – will participate in an at least an annual forum to continue their thought leadership in the area of M&A. Key best practices, failure factors and principles for success should be highlighted along with strategic insight and relevant case examples.
  • All deal team and integration team members – will attend a foundation-level boot camp with a cross-functional overview of the deal lifecycle, roles and responsibilities, key learning and best practices; plus, a deal-specific briefing before engaging on each new deal.
  • Function and process specialists – will attend a specific skill-building session to provide a “deep dive” into their particular functional requirements and their unique cross-functional support roles. Examples may include HR M&A training, IT integration training, Managing the Integration Program Office, or Financial and Accounting Due Diligence among other possibilities.
  • Target company executives and staff – will be involved in strategic planning and overall integration planning, starting with a comprehensive process briefing and work-session with Buyer company executives at the earliest practical stages in the transaction.
  • We will adopt a continuous learning approach – to consistently capture, disseminate and reinforce our M&A lessons learned. Tactics will include internal conferences; periodic town-hall calls, integration into our knowledge management system, and linking M&A training and actual deal count experience into our leadership development, rewards and succession planning systems.

Ready to elevate your M&A team's TQ? Check out the exceptional M&A training programs hosted by the M&A Leadership Council. These unique public programs address the whole spectrum of M&A capabilities, from due diligence and integration, to HR leadership and even business/IT alignment. 

Gain Clarity of Action. Accelerate Deal Value. Empower Internal M&A Competencies.
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