Biggest Mistake Made in Post-Merger Integrations?


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    What is the biggest mistake you have seen in the post-merger integration process that companies make?


    The biggest mistakes I have ever seen are too aggressive integration from day one of the acquisition, which destroyed the business competitiveness of the acquired company by the acquirer. Every company is unique in many ways, and even very small things can be important in their business. The acquired company mentioned above had a very flexible decision making structure before the acquisition, but the acquisition forced a very tight governance structure from day 1. The employees of the acquired company became very stressed and confused, and key people ended up leaving the company.

    Erin Gray

    The biggest mistake my company has made is not having clear messaging on the integration expectations both with the acquired company and our own employees/leadership. Emotions are already high on both sides and each are being told what they want to hear, which you can guess is often conflicting. As the Integration Specialist, a lot of my job is calling out inconsistencies in both messaging and timelines.

    Nathan Holt

    I believe the biggest mistake I have seen is lack of commitment to form an integration team and especially a team with the proper skills.

    Max Eager

    One of the biggest mistakes I’ve observed in the post-merger integration process is a lack of clear and effective communication. Poor communication can have far-reaching negative impacts on the success of the integration and the overall health of the newly merged entity. Here’s how this mistake unfolds and its consequences:

    Mistake: Inadequate Communication

    When companies fail to establish transparent and consistent communication channels during the post-merger integration, several issues can arise:

    Employee Uncertainty: Employees from both merging entities may feel uncertain about their roles, responsibilities, reporting structures, and the overall direction of the new organization. This can lead to anxiety, decreased morale, and even talent attrition.

    Cultural Clash: Without clear communication about the new organizational culture and values, employees may struggle to adapt and integrate. Cultural differences can lead to conflicts and hinder the development of a harmonious and collaborative work environment.

    Loss of Productivity: Employees who are unclear about their roles or the integration process itself may become less productive or even disengaged. This can impact the organization’s ability to meet operational targets and maintain business continuity.

    Misalignment of Goals: Lack of communication can result in misalignment of strategic goals and priorities. Different teams may work towards conflicting objectives, hampering the achievement of integration-related synergies and benefits.


    Since every business is a people business, communication is king.
    A failure to communicate properly results in the loss of morale, speed, synergies, and money.

    Lisa Hall

    In addition to not having alignment on the goal(s) of the integration, a key mistake is not dedicating the time or resources to figure out how to achieve the goal(s) identified.

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