Embrace change: it’s the key to not just surviving mergers and acquisitions but thriving and showing true leadership. In this episode, Jennifer joins Tony Martignetti to discuss the power of people in Mergers & Acquisitions. Discover the unexpected journey of an accidental entrepreneur, who transforms the daunting topic of M&A into a relatable, engaging conversation. Jennifer shares the human side of mergers and acquisitions, explaining how embracing change becomes the key to not just surviving but thriving in times of transition. She also touches on change management, courageous writing, and more.
While M&A deal volume normalized and progressively improved throughout 2023, for CEOs and boards, considerable uncertainty remains in today’s market….. There is a simple exercise I employ with companies pursuing a deal to address these questions and bring more certainty to the deal’s unknowns: a premortem analysis.
Click here to learn how to implement my premortem exercise and its benefits for leadership before heading into an M&A conversation.
Quick. Your company is about to be bought. Or merged. Or otherwise smashed together with a group of strangers. What’s your first thought? Jennifer talks with TJ Bennett and breaks down how companies can avoid the common pitfalls of mergers, acquisitions and large-scale transitions. Read the full transcript here.
Jennifer joined Russel Lolacher to talk about how to ease the pain of mergers and acquisitions. See the full transcript here.
- Mergers and acquisition complexities and challenges.
- First hand employee experience during a M&A.
- The importance of effective and adaptive leadership during M&A.
- The critical role of communication.
- How early involvement of frontline leaders is crucial.
- Steps to overcome an “us vs them’ mentality.
“Leaders need to be better prepared for what happens to people in times of change and uncertainty… You need to allow people to adapt to that, but you also need to prepare your leaders for how to lead people when they’re dealing with a whole new process, potentially.”
Jennifer recently spoke with Ana Melikian, Ph.D., of Mindset Zone. They discuss the importance of drawing upon unique talents, directing effort wisely, and adopting an appropriate attitude. Ana emphasizes the need for mental fitness, and Jennifer reinforces how crucial it is to identify what one can control in uncertain environments.
* [00:00] Introduction and Personal Struggles with Burnout
* [00:42] Meet the Host: Ana Melikian
* [01:24] Introducing Special Guest: Jennifer Fondrevay
* [02:53] Jennifer’s Expertise: Embracing Uncertainty
* [03:18] Jennifer’s Journey: From Certainty to Uncertainty
* [05:02] The Role of Control in Embracing Uncertainty
* [05:57] Jennifer’s TEA Framework: Talent, Effort, Attitude
* [06:54] The Importance of Data and Information
* [08:02] The Human Factor in Business Transformation
* [09:05] The Power of Choosing Our Response
* [09:51] Learning from Mistakes: Jennifer’s Personal Experience
* [11:48] The TEA Framework in Detail: Talent
* [16:48] The TEA Framework in Detail: Effort
* [25:03] The TEA Framework in Detail: Attitude
* [31:40] Conclusion and Contact Information
She is often hailed as the M&A whisperer, while she playfully identifies herself as the next French Ambassador. A survivor of three multibillion-dollar acquisitions, Jennifer Fondrevay sheds light on how transitions don’t just change the business, it also changes the story for the people in it. She will shift your viewpoint on the inner workings of mergers and acquisitions and remind us that things are not always what they appear from the outside. There is always more to the story……. so get ready for some good advice on how to not just survive, but thrive.
In this insightful episode, Anirvan Sen and Jennifer dive deep into the often-overlooked aspect of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) – organizational culture.
Jennifer elucidates how the neglect of cultural assessment during the initial due diligence process can potentially unravel surprising challenges post-deal. By drawing parallels from her personal experiences, Jennifer narrates how her American B2B company’s acquisition by a European B2C company exposed stark differences in organizational cultures, proving the significance of cultural considerations in M&A.
Taking us through her journey, Jennifer shares the inspiration behind her book, “NOW WHAT?: A Survivor’s Guide for Thriving Through Mergers & Acquisitions.” The book delves into the experiences and transformations of ten personas during M&A transitions, offering invaluable guidance for navigating such changes.
Listen in as we unravel the role of culture in M&A, and why it needs to be at the forefront of any successful merger or acquisition. This episode is a must-listen for anyone involved in M&A or those looking to understand the intricacies of organizational culture in such scenarios.
On this episode of Destination on the Left, Jennifer talks with Nicole Mahoney about navigating uncertainty and embracing transformation. Jennifer shares best practices for entering into a partnership and explores the similarities between M&A and collaboration and how the principles and processes of both can be applied to achieve success in any transformational journey.
What You Will Learn in this Episode:
- What happens when you bring two cultures together after a merger, and how to avoid some of the typical challenges
- Why it’s critical to be intentional about your values when planning a partnership
- The importance of getting past your ego when making key decisions
- Why you have to ensure that customer experience is your North Star to maximize a collaboration’s success
- Jennifer shares her wisdom for leaders and teams looking to navigate the complexities of mergers and acquisitions
Helping Partnerships Thrive
Jennifer shares valuable insights for leaders and their teams considering a merger or acquisition, emphasizing the importance of respect for the other company. Drawing on the analogy of a successful marriage, Jennifer highlights that partnerships thrive on both sides bringing out the best in each other and recognizing the value each brings to the partnership.
She stresses the need for humility and respect when entering into a partnership and cautions against letting ego drive decision-making, which can lead to unsuccessful deals. Jennifer’s advice is a must-listen for anyone looking to enter into a successful partnership.
Finding Your North Star
On the podcast, we discuss the importance of being intentional and self-aware of your value when entering into a merger or acquisition. She emphasizes the need to keep the customer at the forefront of any decision-making process, using the example of a successful acquisition where a junior product manager reminded the team to focus on the customer’s needs rather than their own egos.
Jennifer highlights that keeping the customer as the North Star can help diminish the impact of ego in business and keep teams focused on the true reason for their work. She has some great golden nuggets of wisdom that provide valuable guidance for leaders and teams looking to navigate the complexities of mergers and acquisitions.
Jennifer emphasizes the importance of the people piece in M&A; she says that there is no specific playbook for these types of deals, as each one has its unique opportunities and challenges. However, she encourages people to be intentional and contribute to the evolution of their organization.
Jennifer suggests bringing your particular skills to the partnership, embracing uncertainty, and looking for new opportunities. She also talks about the importance of collaboration, letting go of old ways, and contributing to the new vision.
“The payday is a lovely part. But don’t let that drive how you look for your partner, particularly if you want to leave a legacy worthwhile,” explains Jennifer Fondrevay. Mergers and acquisitions have a bad reputation, in part because statistics show that 70-90% of deals fail. However, it is important to still see a merger or acquisition as a viable growth strategy.