Corporate acquisitions have a poor track record; the reasons given are always myriad, authoritative, and informative.

Except they aren’t.

With acquisition failures, all these reasons seem plausible but what they have in common is the element of people. If we act as if we can just run an acquisition by the numbers, we soon have bad numbers.

One big mistake is to try to keep the post-acquisition strategy a big secret. The problem with that strategy is that it assumes the people are stupid. People are not. They know what is going on and that decisions are being made about them. If your new people are truly that stupid that you don’t need to communicate with them, you have bigger problems.

Often, when we don’t bring the employees in on the process, we find out who the stupid ones are and they aren’t the employees.

Dave Cary


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