What has been your most memorable M&A experience?

If you can think of one, I’m hoping you will contribute to my “Dealmakers’ Guide to Humans” project.


I am writing a practical book about how to improve the personal experiences of business leaders and employees going through mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and other scenarios where businesses are joined together or taken apart. My underlying hypothesis is that where organisations invest to improve the experiences people have whilst working on and living through deals, they also will directly improve deal outcomes.

A crucial step in this project is to collect the views and experiences of people who have been impacted in some way by organisations going through this type of significant change.

  •  I would love to have your input via a ten minute, anonymous survey. You can reach it using this link directly https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/IAIDGH2 or if you’d prefer, just copy and paste the link into your browser.
  • And if any of you have a story to tell and a spare thirty minutes to share your experience in an interview, please connect with me via LinkedIn and we’ll set up a call.

To receive a copy of the research report go to http://iselyassociates.com.au/insights/research/ where you can register your interest. We’ll send you a copy as soon as it is available.

Finally, I’m looking for 5-8 people to be on my global reference panel in support of this work. It should be a bit of fun; no doubt we all will learn things; and (all being well) there will be a signed book for you at the end of a satisfying collaboration. Please apply for a spot by sending your contact details to [email protected] and we’ll be in touch to work out the way ahead.

Thanks in advance for your support!

Merger Communication Effectiveness – Lessons from the Trenches

When top executives are asked about lessons learned following a merger, acquisition or business sale, more often than not they say they would have invested much more energy and effort in communication, even when their deals were successful. Too often we see acquisitions or mergers not achieve full potential in a timely way owing to loss of key people, customer attrition and productivity downturn.

Absent (or less than effective) communication is almost always a factor when organisations experience these troubles whilst joining forces. In addition to investment in communication excellence to drive deal success, other interdependent investments include leadership capability and organisation culture.

Immediate prerequisites for effective merger communication include clarity of purpose and strategy, a shared view of the deal rationale and clear cultural expectations. These set the context for what business leaders and employees are asked to deliver and how they are expected to deliver it.

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Put Culture on M&A Agenda from the Start


This post is by Jerome Parisse, originally published on the Walking the Talk website.  It is one in a series that Jerome and I put together to introduce a unique Culture Masterclass for M&A Executives, developed jointly by Isely Associates International and Walking the Talk. 


Senior executives and deal team members are best placed, but often under-prepared, to drive effective cultural outcomes.

Environmental cues for expected behaviour

Culture – “patterns of behavior encouraged or tolerated by people and systems over time” – is created from the messages people receive about what is valued in an organisation. And these messages come from three different channels: behaviours (what is role modeled, our actions), symbols (those small things that send a strong message, such as how a business spends time and budget), and systems and processes (anything from budgeting to performance management, measures of success, promotions and talent management).  Decisions made send a message via one or several of those three channels. Continue reading

Culture Impact Trumps Culture Fit in Mergers

The most effective work on culture begins well before a deal is in full swing. With thoughtful preparation, a clear strategy and commitment to cultural alignment, organisations can improve their odds of achieving expected merger outcomes. Merger Cycle Most organisations start thinking about culture in earnest after a deal is signed or closed. Others, only when people start leaving the business – especially when people they want to keep start leaving in droves. All too late. To improve the chances of merger success, it is critical to have culture on the table well before diligence begins. Continue reading

M&A: How to Avoid Culture Clash

This post is by Jerome Parisse, originally published on the Walking the Talk website.  It is the first in a series that Jerome and I put together to introduce a unique Culture Masterclass for M&A Executives, developed jointly by Isely Associates International and Walking the Talk. 

Every merger or acquisition is undertaken to enhance business value, yet many fail to achieve expected outcomes because of a failure to effectively manage cultural risks and harness cultural opportunities. Data shows that up to 50% – 70% of mergers and acquisitions fail to achieve expected returns. In most of these underperforming deals, culture clash is at the top on the list of reasons for failure.


It does not have to be like this.

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