October 15, 2009

Executive Coaching

During the significant changes that a merger or acquisition event brings, your leadership must have coaching to help them refine, retool, and invigorate their game. We all need a safe ear when things are changing rapidly. Changes tend to bring “relative truth”—the truth can change on a moment-by-moment basis, as new facts are known and new options revealed. It is crucial to have a personal relationship with a solid businessperson who has been where you are and knows what pitfalls you should step around. Merger Coach offers individualized coaching for this very reason. You choose your coach. You determine the level of involvement. We believe in the power of coaching so much that we stake our fees on our clients’ success.




There are three primary goals for our coaches. They are to:

  • Round off individuals’ edges
  • Align an individual’s style to the transition process being used
  • Help executives succeed by validating their strategy and offering an experienced perspective on key decisions

Winning at the game of mergers and acquisitions (m&a) is very similar with one very important exception:

M&A has a single point of success or failure and it is often you!

The transition period following an m&a transaction is unlike any other time in your management career. Your involvement in a merger or acquisition might just be the best and worst thing that ever happened to you. It brings financial rewards, along with change & uncertainty, accountability, involvement and speed of decision–making.

We all need a safe ear when things are changing rapidly. Changes tend to bring “relative truth,” that is, the truth can change on a moment–by–moment basis, as new facts are known and new options revealed.

This is simply an extension of the other trusted experts you currently use in your life and business. It is crucial to have a personal relationship with a solid businessperson who has been where you are, knows what pitfalls you should step around and provides an improved level of predictability and control. You always dictate the amount of involvement and results.

Having a process like this is pure gold.
-Werner Heid, President, Proxima Corporation

Incredible. This process works – it incorporates the very best thinking…
-John Harker, Co–Chairman, CEO & President, InFocus Corporation

What is coaching?

Coaching targets the development and effectiveness improvement of key executives within the backdrop of a merger or acquisition. The most critical component needs the most care!

The post-deal side of an m&a transaction is especially challenging because of the sea of uncertainty and ambiguity that exists between the executive and business performance. Navigating these waters can be daunting without tools and the assistance of a navigator/coach.

It is also about leveraging the predictable dynamics, clearing roadblocks, unlocking potential, supporting (not competing with) integration initiatives and filling gaps between where the organization is and where it should be.

How does coaching work?

Simply put, merger coaching consists of a series of intensive, structured, one-on-one (face-to-face, electronic, telephone…) interactions between an executive and a highly experienced & specialized m&a coach aimed at enhancing performance and overall effectiveness. Due to its intensive nature, this type of coaching is most effective during the 6 – 8 month transition period following an m&a transaction.

The coaches serve as experts, facilitators, motivators and sounding boards dealing with crisis & transition management issues, executive conflicts, business goals, team member alignment & interaction and self management issues. The coach closely identifies with, and has been in a similar position as the coached executive. Saying and doing the right things with confidence during transition is often the first benefit. It is not about unraveling personalities, but often involves guidance on doing things differently and more productively while under extreme pressure.

The coaching delivery is adapted to your unique situation, just-in-time, field-tested, proven in m&a and is confidential!

How do I know I need a coach?

If you believe you are experiencing or are overly exposed to any one of the following risks you could significantly benefit from merger coaching:

  1. Missing transaction closure deadlines
  2. Experiencing expectation conflicts within the team
  3. Having trouble fulfilling promises
  4. At high risk of not attaining revenue and financial objectives
  5. Difficulty setting the business agenda and priorities
  6. Feeling trapped by the business, working harder than ever, with less reward
  7. Encountering decision making that is tangled and slow
  8. Knowing what to communicate and when
  9. Feeling that the new culture is too dominating or difficult to adjust to
  10. Continually discussing team retention and succession issues

What are the benefits?

  • Overcome ambivalence and unpredictability, improve trust and make bold moves with confidence
  • Solidify your position, job enrichment and/or survival
  • Lead with authority and insight by setting the agenda
  • Liberate yourself from the business and gain a competitive edge
  • Increase the effectiveness and overall happiness of your team
  • Continue career momentum by leveraging predictable dynamics and by making counter-intuitive moves
  • Improve your personal leadership and development
  • Access to a ready-made network of other executives with similar experiences
  • Get your life back, or transition to a new one and live a more balanced life
  • Align both personal and corporate expectations
  • Quicker transaction goal attainment

What is the investment?

Your time commitment is the biggest investment. With time demands at an all time high, primarily consumed by post-transaction activities, taking even a small amount of time for your personal development can be difficult. Experience has proven many times over that you will get time pressure relief in a matter of days by acting upon your coach’s expert guidance. The stakes are also much higher. Earnout, options and stock conversions tied to accretion, market share expansion, product development, employee and customer retention and/or replacement are all critical and risky activities. Why take the added risk of going it alone? Often the entire coaching fee and time investment are recovered in a single moment of insight and subsequent decisiveness! Coaching provides you with the performance edge and substantial risk reduction. The monthly fee ranges from $2,500 – $7,500 for coaching (can often be charged to m&a transaction costs) includes:

  • Unlimited scheduled access via telephone and email with your coach to address transition management issues, plan development, leadership challenges, conflicts with both superiors and team members.
  • A variable number of onsite or in-person meetings per month, team facilitation and out-of-pocket expenses are additional.
  • Unlimited use of the many proven transition management & communication tools with both your team and customers
  • Computerized personal assessment benchmarking you with 3,000 other executives and leaders to ensure your proper fit to the process
  • Access to a network of other leaders similar to yourself and quality service providers at no additional cost

Bottom line

During the significant changes that a merger or acquisition event brings the combination of your leadership and our expert coaching & solid business consulting work together to refine, retool, invigorate your game.

You are the most critical component of the transaction and it needs very special care!

You may have many transactions under your belt or this could be your first. You are the critical point of success or failure in the deal! Give yourself the extra edge and margin of safety that ensures your success – no matter what the goal.

Still have questions about coaching? Check out these Frequently Asked Questions for more information.