PODCAST: If You’re Talking, Then You Better Be Walking

Jennifer and Rex New, of Managing Editor’s Magazine, discuss how mergers and acquisitions often create crises of trust at businesses, and so do difficult economic periods — our present one included. The pandemic has shown the importance of a few critical actions that help maintain trust in a crisis. First is the importance of demonstrating empathy and humility. The most effective leaders Jennifer has seen over the past few months were leaders that relied on outside experts to persuade people to change their behaviors.

But the second action is even more important. If leaders want to maintain trust, they’ve got to do more than speak. Their actions must match their words. In other words, talk the talk — but make sure you’re walking the walk. “Demonstrate through your actions what you expect others to do,” Jennifer explains. “The leaders who haven’t been successful said one thing, but they didn’t apply that to themselves.”

PODCAST: PEOPLE BUSINESS WITH O’BRIEN MCMAHON

June 23, 2020

On Humanizing Mergers & Acquisitions
WITH O’BRIEN MCMAHON

Jennifer and O’Brien McMahon discuss how forward-thinking business leaders, owners, and executives can prepare for the human capital challenges of M&A transactions.

A Few highlights of my conversation with O’Brien:

19:05 “How should leaders be thinking about the people side of business transitions or mergers or acquisitions”
20:25 How to be prepared for your organization to go through stages of grief? What are the stages?
25:35 Why is preparation for the “stages of grief” so often overlooked by executives/leaders?”
28:40 Why the fact that grief isn’t typically discussed in business can be harmful.
30:40 Why getting to Acceptance is important to your career and your health (mental AND physical)
31:30 Is there a way to speed up the grieving process?

PODCAST: MISSION MATTERS WITH ADAM TORRES

June 12, 2020

MISSION MATTERS
WITH ADAM TORRES

Adam Torres and Jennifer J. Fondrevay, Founder and Chief Humanity Officer at Day1 Ready and Author of NOW WHAT?: A Survivor’s Guide for Thriving Through Mergers & Acquisitions, explore Jennifer’s book and how it’s helping individuals navigate the mergers & acquisitions (M&A) process.

PODCAST: WHAT COVID-19’S UNCERTAINTY CAN TEACH US ABOUT M&A INTEGRATIONS WITH TRICIA FORBES

April 29, 2020

WHAT COVID-19’S UNCERTAINTY CAN TEACH US ABOUT M&A INTEGRATIONS
WITH TRICIA FORBES

A fair amount of attention has been devoted to what will happen with M&A deal-making once we are on the other side of this pandemic. Fairly consistently, the theories on what’s next end with something to the effect of, “This is unprecedented, and no one truly knows how it will all play out.” Despite the unknowns, there is a lot that we can learn from this crisis to better prepare us for M&A deals moving forward, as Jennifer discusses with Tricia Forbes.

PODCAST: THOUGHT LEADER LIFE WITH MITCHELL LEVY

Jennifer with Mitchell Levy

April 1, 2020

Jennifer connects with Expert Mitchell Levy, a TEDx speaker and international bestselling author of over 60 books.

Here are a few highlights from this episode:

  • Having been through three multi-billion dollar acquisition experiences, I saw how the integration of cultures affects the org on how they perceive their mission and vision.
  • Orgs and companies that are doing #MergersAndAcquisitions have to deal with people challenges and the integration of cultures. How do you overcome those challenges?
  • Mid-market or Fortune 500 companies should think smart when it comes to #MergersAndAcquisitions in order to survive or prevent possible problems.
  • The people aspect when doing #MergersAndAcquisitions must be considered, as well as how to communicate the vision, mission and values in a way that galvanizes your workforce to really get behind them. 

PODCAST: MANAGE YOUR MESSAGE WITH JIM KARRH SURVIVING & THRIVING THROUGH M&A

Manage Your Message Cover Art for Jennifer J Fondrevay

September 2019

Manage Your Message Cover Art for Jennifer J Fondrevay

MANAGE YOUR MESSAGE WITH JIM KARRH SURVIVING & THRIVING THROUGH M&A

The wrong internal message–especially “marketing jargon”–can derail the success of an acquisition. Messaging has a particularly important role in the effectiveness (or lack thereof) in a merger. Leaders need to know how to communicate the deal internally as well as externally, so that the integration is set up for success.

Jennifer speaks with Jim Karrh about the three forms of “us-versus-them” thinking:

  • Our company vs. their company
  • Senior leadership vs. front-line managers
  • Those who stay vs. those who go (“Everyone thinks the other side got the better deal”)

While the typical pattern is to focus on the financials of a deal and work on the people aspects later, Jennifer says it’s far more effective to consider the human capital involved from the very beginning. She says, “Day 1 of any deal is the moment you first start thinking about M&A as a growth strategy.” Business owners, from that point, approach their decisions differently.

Messaging has a particularly important role in the effectiveness (or lack thereof) in a merger. Leaders need to know how to communicate the deal internally as well as externally, so that the integration is set up for success.

Three of the most important pieces of advice are:

  • Recognize that your internal audiences will likely have a negative view from the outset
  • Avoid clichés (e.g. “nothing is changing,” “this is a merger of equals,” “we expect minimum reductions in staff”) which only serve to elevate skepticism even more
  • Be as transparent as possible