Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

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

The unchallenged Rules of post deal integration…part 3

All that is written cannot be changed…the tablets of stone of the business case!

In what other walk of life can you imagine a situation where the thoughts, analysis and assumptions of one person (or perhaps a small team), drawn up before any access to the subject matter was granted and therefore based entirely on an ‘out to in’ perspective are entirely inviolate?

…all because this was the rationale presented to shareholders on the day that the deal was announced?

We’re not talking about the direction of travel here, some broad sense of where strategic benefit might exist, that would hardly do. No, this requires deep competitor analysis, cost and revenue synergies to the $ and integration costs calculated to the cent.

Imagine a similar scenario in the purchase of a house…so that you need to predict what the potential energy costs were not on the day of purchase but in 5 years time, after you’ve extended the kitchen, done the loft conversion and built the conservatory?

Or in the drawing up of a new supplier agreement, where, before you sign, the former needs to give you an accurate assessment of their particular market in 5 years and what position they will be occupying, in order to remain your preferred partner?

Since when were our strategy consultants (internal and external) given the gift of seeing into the future? And what does our over-reliance on some expensive fiction, well written by clever people say about our ability to adapt, review and react to market changes? Surely that is a much more important capability in today’s market of disruption and innovation.

Certainty of outcome is not based on the effort put in or the capability of the author…it is based on the adaptability and implementation /execution skill deployed!

Let’s accept that the $ financial model is flawed; identify assumptions and re-baseline post completion. You’ve got an opportunity to jointly re-create the plans with openness and transparency which enables some buy-in… pretty important if you’re expecting them to deliver what you’ve committed to!

As ever, comments are welcome…this is reasonably controversial so please tell me if you think I’m wrong!

Categories: Transformation

2 replies

  1. Great to have these issues on the table

    The success of all integrations I have guided/supported depends 100% on the implementation not the strategic assumptions. The strategy is vitally important, but the success or failure happens in the trenches

    Your analogy of the house buying…. It is whether you do the renovations or not, whether the renovations are fully finished and the house is well presented

    My view is that the architect is crucial, but the plumbing will be the issue that is of most concern

    So, Ben and David, keep on stirring, these are discussions that are essential in these challenging times

    Liked by 1 person

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