How do we know when we are up to this stage?
By this point, you will have negotiated a fair agreement with your new partner. You will know you are ready to continue when both boards have agreed to the terms of the merger agreement and have voted on a motion in favour of their intent to merge. Both boards must consent to the agreement before the integration discussion takes place. Hopefully, you will have established a trusting relationship between your organisations, conducted due diligence, brought your boards together on a number of occasions and are ready to conclude the role of the negotiation group. Finally, you are ready to communicate your progress to staff and other interested parties. You are ready to plan for integration.
After the final merger agreement is signed, integration can take between a month and a year, depending on the size and complexity of each organisation, and the scale of the change required. The integration phase is about bringing together two or more organisations in support of a single, unified mission and vision. Such significant structural and cultural change provides impetus to consider holistically how well your organisation is functioning. The process is an opportunity to improve parts of your organisation that would not necessarily be subject to close examination.
This section guides you through the integration phase by advising on how to:
- Create an integration team
- Bring the boards together
- Develop your new identity and brand
- Agree your new programs
- Communicate the change
- Support your employees through change
- Manage property and other assets
- Integrate back-of-house functions
- Periodic review of merger progress
Some of the potential opportunities and risks associated with the implementation stage of a NFP merger are outlined below.
Throughout this stage of integration is important to strike the right balance between capturing the full benefits of a merger and also managing potential risks - as shown below in Figure 14.
Please feel free to leave questions or comments on this part of the merger toolkit.