The Change Agent Blog:

3 Costliest Merger Mistakes

Happy June – the sunshine and warmth is welcomed in Ohio! I was ready to send out this blog in April but my webmaster changed my blog to a new platform and I had to relearn the new set up. I’m also learning how to handle an old John Deere riding lawn mower as grass cutting is my responsibility (since I can’t cut down trees and do other hard manual labor). This just goes to show this “change agent” that she needs to continually learn new things.

On my website, we’ve added dozens of free articles in pdf format for you to download and use.


In the world of business, mergers continue to be a reality (think airlines – see graphic for Delta’s “master guide” to their merger) and I’m finding many of my clients are also merging departments. So, I thought the fon my next blog, I’ll continue this theme with the 4 Tips to Avoid Merger Mistakes.

The 3 Costliest Merger Mistakes

Mistake 1: Tell employees “change is good.” Employees don’t buy it and you will lose credibility. Most change is painful.

Mistake 2: Promise your employees that this will be a “merger of equals.” There are never two winners in a merger. Mergers tend not to be fair, so be realistic with your employees. Honesty is always the best policy.

Mistake 3: Ask for employee feedback on change implementation strategies and then don’t use the feedback. It’s the quickest way to alienate your employees. If you don’t want or need employee input into the change process then don’t ask for it. Don’t pretend that you are open to suggestions when you are not. Lies at the beginning will cause people to not trust you later.

Next time, I’ll cover the 4 Tips to Avoid (the above) Merger Mistakes. Taken from my tips booklet: 93 Tips for Managing Change

Make it a great week!

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My company recently merged with another large financial institution...As I reviewed the many programs on managing change, I found that most took a “change is good” and “get on board or get out” approach. With an eye toward a tight workforce and wanting to minimize turnover and maximize the strengths of the existing employee base, I knew that this approach would not work with our organization. Patti Hathaway is refreshingly direct and supportive of the human side of the merger and challenged people to handle the change because of the benefit it would bring to them. She tailored the program to our company and was both direct and insightful with her presentation. Patti is an excellent speaker and clearly enjoys working with a challenging audience.

Bank One Corporation

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