Tom Lombardi's blog

Are There Blind Spots That Doom Post-Merger Integration?

Are there blind spots that doom post merger integration? Yes. Business owners, after years of hard work, facing a payday, can be blissfully blind to cultural and leadership land mines. Triggered in the fog of post-merger integration, they cost organizations dearly, in terms of talent loss, workflow capability, and strategic alignment. I saw this blind spot six months ago in my local Starbucks ...
There I ran into a business acquaintance of mine (call him John). John is the CEO of a successful healthcare consultancy that has grown into a national player in the corporate health arena. I learned that John was out of the office studying an offer for the purchase of his firm by a large European conglomerate. The calculator was out and there was a look in his eye that said, “Leave me alone. I have been waiting my whole life for this moment." Nonetheless, I pushed into the conversation. I was puzzled because John had spent twelve years building a dream team to leverage his successful business model, vowing he would never sell...

What Do Arranged Marriages And Post-Merger Integration Have In Common?

Post-merger integration

What do arranged marriages and their analogue in the business world, post-merger Integration, have in common? The answer: long termed success starts with getting the match right in the first place.

Here’s a telling statistic. According to UNICEF and Human Rights Council, the average divorce rate globally in the case of arranged marriages is 4%. In India, where 90% of marriages are arranged, the divorce rate is 1.1%!

Contrast Post-Merger Integration. According to McKinsey and Co., nearly 80% fail to recover the costs incurred in the deal, and fully half of deals result in reduced profits, reduced productivity or both. Add to this years of fear and instability on the part of employees and their local communities, and … you get the picture...

Moment of Truth for High Performance Teams

There is a moment of truth for High Performance Teams. It is the moment team members start to hold gut-level honest discussions about team culture.
The good news is leaders can get their teams to the edge of this moment. But only team members can make it happen.
I was reminded of all this when I came across the “Shirtless Dancing Guy” video from a couple years back. Remember it?  See it here.

Pain of Team Interdependence

Team Interdependence

Why sign up for the pain of team interdependence?  Because team interdependence is a key to high performance. And in this age of "team", high performance sets us apart.

And what is this pain all about? It is the cost of forging mutually dependent relationships. Really, the cost of conflict. And conflict, especially with those we trust and respect, can be painful.

The purpose of this post is to test for this pain and remind ourselves that the pain is worth it. In fact, if teams and organizations knew the rewards hidden on the other side of conflict, they would line up to practice it. Our default mode is to  write, teach, and consult on the subject, anything but actually do it. Let's agree there is no time to waste...

Post Merger Integration: Can the Marriage Thrive?


Post merger integration -- can the marriage thrive?  This question should probably be asked before a deal is consummated.  Just like a smart couple assesses  compatibility before tying the knot, it is possible in my experience to assess compatibility between businesses, pre-deal. So, can better dating lead to a better match and therefore better outcomes? 

Most business leaders would, of course, say yes. But in reality, most leave culture alignment issues and questions "for later". But at what cost? What if there were an efficient technology to measure partnership fitness on this side of the altar? Would it even be utilized?

To hear him tell the story, my client would say he heard the alarms and should have paid attention, but instead he practiced selective listening and outright denial. After all, he needed the IT capabilities of this small technology company, and needed them fast. So he overcame objections, and powered through the negotiation.

It wasn’t until 18 painful and unproductive months later...