A Survivor's Guide for Thriving Through Mergers & Acquisitions
by Jennifer J. Fondrevay
Chapter 17: The Ostrich
With its compliance laws and well-defined playbooks, accounting and legal matters are the tidy parts of M&A, but it’s messy in the people department because there is no playbook. Until now. Because I wrote one.
"Jennifer Fondrevay has created a book for people caught in the middle of M&A: the vulnerable middle managers and the many rank and file who are at the mercy of the dealmakers. Those execs have their playbook. NOW WHAT? is the playbook for ‘everyman’"
Price Pritchett, PHD // M&A thought leader, Author of Lessons from 1,000 Deals
I interviewed over 60 executives, engaged in M&A from all sides, to write NOW WHAT?, a must-read that’s both practitioner’s playbook and survivor’s handbook. It reinforces that the deal’s success rests not solely on the numbers but on the shoulders of those tasked with its execution.
To keep individual goals tethered to the corporate vision through change is how we not only get an M&A deal done. It’s how we avoid losing momentum, money, and talent while there’s so much of these crucial assets to be gained.
Testimonials for NOW WHAT?
Chairman, Lynx Investment Advisory, Washington DC
Best Selling author of Investment Gurus
"Jennifer Fondrevay’s, NOW WHAT? is what has been missing from the M&A playbook for decades, but no longer. The millions of workers and executives who are destined to go through mergers and acquisitions have a new tool: this book. Having been a corporate director who went through a major merger, I wish I had then a resource to counsel employees and colleagues. We do now, and NOW WHAT? provides the roadmap to getting through the perils and unknowns of a merger, and especially, how to survive."
Managing Partner at Navalent, bestselling author of Rising to Power: The Journey of Exceptional Executives
“With mergers and acquisitions one of the go-to levers in corporation’s growth toolkits, the need to get them right is more acute than ever. Unfortunately most still tank miserably, leaving massive destruction and waste in their wake. Jennifer Fondrevay has translated her decades of in-the-M&A-trenches experience into a battle tested, entertaining, and sometimes disturbingly honest guidebook to help you beat the painful odds stacked against you. Don’t be another statistic as you enter your M&A whitewater. Just follow the wisdom on the pages ahead.”
CEO FORWARD author of Elephants Before Unicorns: Emotionally Intelligent HR Strategies To Save Your Company
“An M&A wrecks havoc on the emotional operating system of the people in your organization. With all the moving parts of an M&A, your most precious resource - the people aka your employees - are in fight and flight mode. Jennifer Fondrevay writes the M&A survival manual with surprising humour after 3 major M&A experiences. I encourage you to read NOW WHAT? to understand all the short-cuts to understanding the different personality types you will encounter so you’re not sabotaged from the very start. “
Former Chairman and CEO of Bell & Howell, Author of From Day One, Northwestern Professor
"Fondrevay‘s book should be the go-to source for anyone involved on either side of an M&A deal. With NOW WHAT? she captures the practical and tactical actions which, if taken, will drive success or if not, will increase frustration and likely failure. It begins with attitude. She emphatically points out that if you expect the resulting environment to be better than expected or worse than expected, it will be. Just because the majority of mergers fail, you as an individual do not have to suffer the same consequences. If you find yourself in the middle of an M&A deal transaction, pick up a copy of this very readable book!"
Chief People Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprises
“Fondrevay offers a unique and refreshing perspective on the impact of M&A on employees. In doing so, she provides not only highly relevant and actionable insights for those affected by these transactions, but also useful perspective for firms to ensure deals in fact create their intended value.”
EVP and Chief Financial Officer, Sysco
“Jennifer Fondrevay’s book provides a wonderful opportunity to honestly reflect on what makes the complex world of M&A either a success or failure. For companies who acquire businesses, too often the focus is on valuations, deal models or the desire to be acquisitive but NOW WHAT? is a pointed reminder of the real key to successful M&A: people. Jennifer’s writing encapsulates many realities of human psychology from both the perspective of the acquiring and the acquired and offers practical and entertaining perspectives and advice on the opportunities, challenges and watch-outs. This book is a must-read for leaders of all levels on both sides of M&A deals to maximize the opportunities for successful integration and value creation.”
Global Board Director, Keynote Speaker,Best-Selling author of Lessons in Leadershit: Detoxing the Workplace
"Through a series of real-life stories and her own experience, Jennifer Fondrevay created an “M&A survival guide” for every person going through an M&A experience. Her examples are relatable and her advice is practical and to-the-point. Whether you are on the acquirer or acquired side of the deal, this is a must-read for anybody going through an acquisition. Thumbs-up!”
Front Line Leadership Systems
Author of What Great Supervisors Know
"Middle managers and front line leaders often feel stranded when going through the upheaval of a merger. Jennifer Fondrevay shares practical, easy to apply strategies to help your leaders thrive before, during and after your organization grows through a merger or acquisition."
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Photos under Speaking and Services by Charlie Simokaitis. Charlie Simokaitis is a world-renowned photographer who has traveled six continents to capture humanity in action. He is co-founder of Groundfire Pictures, a multi-media production collaborative and his work has been exhibited in galleries both domestic and abroad.