Acquisitions are a dynamic part of business life. Most people will work for an acquired business at least once during their career. They will be confronted with new challenges and will learn to adjust to their transforming workplaces.
Although many employees are not comfortable with change as it begins, acquisitions are an advantageous time. They help foment initiatives and develop the best assets of the merging businesses. New ideas, processes, products, and colleagues transform both the acquired and the acquiring company.
As an acquired employee you can demonstrate your value to new employers and colleagues during the acquisition. It is a clear opportunity awaiting you.
Why get involved?
Integrations are an encouraging time for capable employees who want to get involved and can be trusted to complete tasks. Many careers have been accelerated due to an acquisition integration.
Managers tend to rely upon “trusted hands” for important projects. After a business is acquired, the integration requires hundreds of tasks to be completed across the many workstreams. Due to the volume of important projects that need to be completed, there are opportunities for many employees to help with the workload.
Over the years as an integration manager, I have seen many occasions where the lesser-known employee takes on an integration project that accelerates his/her career.
How do I prepare for this?
Find out about your new partners.
- Note that they are partners, not acquirers. This shift in perspective leads you to accept the change.
- Whether you are happy or just OK with the changes, there is no going back. Thinking of them in this new way will shift your behaviors.
As you listen to announcements about the acquisition and integration
- Be open minded, about what you hear
- Read relevant websites
Look at the way your new colleagues work
- How do they behave?
- How are they organized?
- Get an insight into their business culture
Volunteer for integration-related tasks and projects
- If you are asked to be a part of the integration team, say “Yes”
- Volunteering will
- Raise your profile
- Help you gain insight into how the other business works
- Increase your value to the business
Be seen. There are fresh eyes watching and assessing you now that you’ve been acquired.
Be an enabler
If you want a change, or an acceleration in your career, create your opportunity at this time – be seen as a positive enabler.