Post merger & restructuring
Why do so many mergers fail?
Because the focus is on numbers and structures, not on people.

The symptoms


  • You have carried out a successful operation, but morale is low.
  • People are hanging on to the past – holding you back and resisting new ways of working.
  • A rebrand and new strategy are in place – but you’re still waiting for the impact.
  • You have values posters everywhere but nothing has changed.
  • You’ve got rid of the dead wood, but now good people are leaving.
  • The momentum you carried into the merger has been lost.
  • A few years in, you wonder if not integrating the two cultures was a mistake.

The problem


You could be suffering from post-merger discord. No matter what you call it, every merger has winners or losers – it’s the elephant in the room. For the dealmakers, the work is finished when the contracts are signed or the restructuring is complete. For the people, the hard yards lie ahead.

Culture is a great enabler but it can be the hidden destroyer. You need to take your people along on the journey, and make sure they can see a future for themselves and the new organisation they are part of. This requires a narrative. Forfeiting cultural alignment will create problems later on, as many failed mergers and restructurings show. But if you involve people early and are realistic about the significant disruption that change brings, you can actually have positive impact.

How it worked for
Zumtobel Group


This major international lighting group consisted of four brands working in silos until the CEO restructured the sales organisation to implement a multi-brand sales approach in order to regain competitiveness.

Working with brand and business leaders, we applied our proprietary strategic framework to position all the brands in a coherent manner with clear distinctions from one another. Two new brands were created to complete the offering to the market as a group of specialists.

We then created an overarching group brand system and communications that brought the core proposition to life for its 8,000 people and customers all over the world.

More about our work with Zumtobel Group

Are you seeing post-merger discord?
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