Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

the day to day experiences of a consultant operating in weird and wonderful client situations

The three things that will determine success or failure in your deal

I was asked this question by a client this week and it caused me to think carefully. In many ways, the question is a little anodyne…as we all know, post merger integration rates amongst the most complex of transformation projects and coming up with a three part solution does not reflect that complexity.. But for what it’s worth, here are mine:

(In terms of context, I’ve positioned this from the perspective of a workstream leader)


At every level, in every interaction you have, with every action or task you deliver, you have the opportunity to influence and change the relationship you and your company has with an individual on the other side of the transaction. Be aware of this and let your core principals guide you to make sure that that interaction is one which takes your relationship forward. Deals succeed or fail because of people and managing that dimension successfully is entirely the result of a million small relationships rather than the ‘strategic’ direction of one person!


Look at the time you’ve given yourself for your tasks….and double it! Be clear that where you are working not only across silos in your own organisation but across the acquired business as well, it leads to the need for more consultation, more socialisation, more iteration and therefore more time!


Once your scope has been defined in terms of the tasks, objectives, deliverables and benefits which are assigned to you, defend that scope with your life! I’m serious, the biggest challenge in post deal work is poorly defined scope which leads to uncontrolled scope creep and the consequent delivery of nothing! Manage your scope as if it is the only thing that is going to determine success or failure and you personally are responsible.

Categories: Complex transformation, Consulting, Defying gravity, Functional Leadership, human behaviour, Mergers & acquisitions, Post merger integration, Training, Transformation

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