Acquisitions are a part of business life. Acquisitions bring with them change, and with that, opportunity. New ideas, processes, products, and colleagues will have to be learned about by the acquired and the acquiring company.
Adjust your perspective of this new addition to be a partner, not an acquirer or an acquisition.
Middle management can demonstrate value through their personal knowledge and expertise, also by nurturing their team to rise to the occasion. It is a clear opportunity awaiting.
Spotting an opportunity
Being in middle management means that you are, by definition, in the middle. This is a position of perspective: management will receive information and directives from superiors, peers, and team members. During an acquisition integration there is a large volume of information being shared and learned.
There is a lot of partner information that is new and must be absorbed. Learn about the business so that you can apply what you now know to help you highlight your team’s assets and be in a position of strength.
Understand what your new partner does:
- Are there overlaps in geographies that you sell into?
- Are there outsourced teams that you can leverage?
- Is there specialized knowledge in a market or technology that would help your team?
- Are there business relationships that you wanted to develop, and already exist with your new partners?
If so, raise these as opportunities for the business that your team can leverage.
Seizing the opportunity
Managers must be open to mentoring future leaders
- Volunteer with care: choose how and where you offer to go above and beyond with your team. Integrations need reliable, self-motivated delivery by individuals and teams, so prioritize delivery and don’t overreach
- Be aware of organizational differences and politics. Some individuals will use the disruption of integrations to accelerate their career at the expense of others
Encourage and support your team
Acquisition integrations cause uncertainty with employees. If employees feel that their manager is looking out for them, the manager will avoid spending time and energy coping with challenges and reassuring them.
Encourage your team to help and participate in integration activities, promise a share of the rewards, and deliver on your promises.
Grow future leaders to raise the productivity and the profile of your team.
Be an enabler
Acquisition integrations are a time of disruption, but also of opportunity. Raise your profile by encouraging and facilitating your team to rise to the occasion.