With COVID, how would one handle Integrations w/o face to face meetings?

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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    Clark Murphy

    Given the new environment with the Pandemic and Covid, there is more video conference meetings (i.e. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc). Do you think that will be an issue with integrations or even finding synergies with employees going forward with Transactions?

    Jerome Baumgartner

    I can personally confirm that the absence of face to face impacted significantly the ability of one organization I know to successfully integrate a team. I would say that it almost doubled the time required and also created a lot more frustrations among the respective teams. Trust issues have been seen frequently. It is now more or less ok, but clearly despite all the technological progress, we ultimately still need to meet in person to create solid relationship.

    Elizabeth Perlak

    I think there is actually an opportunity here to increase the interactions with teams in a more meaningful way. Previously, if a deal involved teams in varying geographic locations there was a certain amount of inequity in the availability of face to face meetings – it took more time away from day-to-day interactions and typically was only available to certain employees or team members. Now, everyone is operating in the same paradigm. I would suggest to make the virtual interactions more meaningful set up clear guidelines for the meetings. Prioritize the software and protocols of the meetings (is everyone using Teams or Zoom, cameras on or off) and encourage more participation if possible by employees/team members who would not have had the benefit of in person meetings in the past.

    Matthew Brown

    We’ve done everything virtually, but we’ve seen the impact. In this business, face to face is critical. It build trust and enables alignment. We call them Moments that Matter, and in integration work, it’s key. We’ve recently begun travelling again as part of this work, but it’s still limited as we’re not travling overseas even though we have deals and integrations in global markets. Otherwise, it seems like we need to do the best we can perhaps build in some contingency (schedule and funds) in the plans due to unknowns and risk because of this limitation.

    Fahad AlQahtani

    It is proven that virtual technologies and applications were effective during COVID-19. To be able to use theses technologies effectively, one must prepare any presentations, materials or documents prior to the meetings and also use the settings and tools for each applications wisely.

    Srrah Algheithy

    Although videoconferencing and collaborative tools have proven effective in maintaining business during the post-covid era there are some aspects of post-merger integration that may be impossible to truly accomplish virtually. There are many aspects of post-M&A-integration which could effectively be accomplished virtually such as IT and HR system integration. However, one of the key silos is cultural integration which depends heavily on the day-to-day interactions, work environment, and culture which cannot easily be reflected or quantified virtually. Such aspects of integration would be difficult to address or even identify virtually and would most likely only show up once face-to-face activities are resumed.

    Joaquin Blanco Diez

    A hybrid mode of video and face to face is needed to sustain integration in the long term, specially form projects of 1-2 years. Even before COVID is was quite challenging in some cases to maintain energy and drive during the integration phase and that is something that would be definitely penalize if we only have virtual interaction with teams

    Boon Hon Low

    I believe it will be very challenging. Frequent engagement with target management and staff over videoconferences may lead to fatigue in attending virtual meetings. Already there are reports on productivity deterioration for prolonged remote working and virtual engagement. I would suggest that integration timeline be designed more generously to allow more time for people to understand, appreciate and implement the changes. This may lead to better outcome.

    Mohammad Alageeli

    It is challenging to conduct meetings between companies virtually especially when two companies use different setups. Not to mention the challenge when setting meetings in different time zones.

    Evgeny Gorbunov

    It will be a challenging. People behaviour is different over video calls although it may be a helpful initially but certainly cannot replace the face-to-face meetings.

    Sumit Rambani

    In my recent experience, we managed to conduct most of our work through online meetings. There were challenges faced in terms of technology, lack of focus in the beginning but the team showed remarkable improvement later. We also realized that in some situations, face-to-face meetings are important. The planning aspect can be taken care of virtually but the hard implementation of operations sometimes does need face-to-face interactions.

    Jesslyn Zeng

    With technology, there are indeed endless opportunities and platforms allowing for integrations to happen. Virtual meetings may be conducted – from one to one meetings with the new managers to having the new management team address the employees, integrations may still happen without face to face meetings. That said, face to face meetings are indeed the most preferred mechanism. However, with COVID-19, organisations/companies need to constantly adapt in order to ensure success of integrations.

    Sam Chee

    I suppose critical face-to-face meetings are still possible with safe management measures in place, if not online collaboration tools and regular check-ins through videoconferencing would be the next best alternative.

    Meg Ver

    It is tough to participate and move at fast pace during integration without in-person meetings. Virtual meetings get the job done but it is slower and lacks in creating a strong and trusted relationship between the employees working on integration.

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