In M&A it is crucial to avoid destroying the value of the deal. You must therefore spend time planning and establish your processes. In my experience, the most frequent issues are around people – how they react to change and their reluctance and how they respond when something doesn’t go according to was planned.

We assist our clients to set up an effective system that allows them to spot potential issues early and respond quickly. This could mean such things as having weekly meetings where the IMO and functional work streams review the progress made against the plan and raise issues and risks to SteerCo.

Once the method of addressing issues is established, it is important to concentrate on implementation. It is crucial to ensure that the team members know what they’re expected to do and how they will be evaluated, and how often. It also includes clearly defining accountability (i.e. ownership of the final results) and the decision-making authority for the entire business.

It is vital to ensure that the CEO and top management are able to devote at minimum 90 percent of their time focusing on core business issues and not be distracted by integration activities. A good way to do this is to designate a strong leader to lead the Decision Management Office (IMO) that can make decisions and coordinate the work streams. This person can come from the acquiring company or be a rising star within the merged company with the support of their boss.