LinkedIn and Facebook are electronic rolodex’s (did I just ‘date’ myself?) that can visually show how ‘connected’ people are – but what happens to people’s connections in the wake of the acquisition?
Ideally, as part of the pre-acquisition research, you would develop a feel for connections – industry, associations, advertising, buying – so you don’t jettison valuable connections unnecessarily or accidentally.
But in the trenches of integration, the acquirer’s team tends to (all too easily) assume that what they do and how they do it is superior to the acquired. This is a dangerous assumption.
Are there executive members of the acquired’s team in key trade association positions?
What media-buy contracts have the acquired’s team negotiated?
What industry connections to key suppliers are in jeopardy if you consolidate buying?
What history, loyalty, and goodwill to people take with them when they are let go?
I think everyone in business has heard, “Our people are our greatest asset” about a gazillion times. But in the heat of an acquisition, are people (and their connections) weighted with the appropriate value?
Have something to add? Your own business wit?
Got a different point of view, want to play devil’s advocate, or just think we’re all wet? Post your experiences or examples.