October 15, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mergercoach?
Over the last few decades, our clients have constantly presented our team with a dilemma: Executives in the throes of a merger desperately needed personal advice and counseling. These executives valued an objective, trusted third-party opinion when wrestling with critical business and personal issues. When they leveraged a third party coach, the result was a skyrocketing in personal performance. They recognized their “defining moments” and took advantage of them. Mergercoach has evolved into one-on-one assistance designed to increase leadership competency and engage and retain key contributors during a merger. This is done by our very experienced coaches, using a field-tested, proven, metric-based methodology that drives toward the desired outcome or goal (typical integration goals include speed, cost savings, revenue improvements, and employee retention). The coaching process incorporates leadership development, coaching techniques and outcomes, and suggestions for managing the predictable dynamics created by a merger.
Who is the ideal candidate for Mergercoach?
Although all team members need coaching, there are only two candidates who should be considered for organization-sponsored “Merger-coaching”: Senior executives and “at risk” managers & specialists – those who represent the real intellectual and business value in the organization. These key contributors can take their network of other employees, key customers, or valuable intellectual property with them. Often they are simply mired in the ambiguity that exists inside of change; coaching can help get them through the “change curve” quickly so they can engage personally and add value professionally. To begin a coaching relationship, endorsement from a senior-level manager is best. At a minimum, their being informed is required. More than likely your organization will sponsor Mergercoach involvement and understand its value. During a merger the organizational sands shift very quickly – the relationship with your current and future boss is and will become very important. Your Merger Coach will specifically work with you to establish and strengthen this relationship, dramatically increasing the effectiveness of you both.
Who is involved in the coaching process?
Primarily the team member being coached and their Merger Coach. Also, their team members, colleagues, customer, boss, and family. Anyone who they directly or indirectly come in contact with will be considered in the process. Coaching is provided in a one-on-one setting in most cases. However, a customized, team-based coaching process may be implemented to achieve even more benefits for the organization and add more value to the merger.
When in the merger process should coaching begin?
When, or before, the deal is announced is best. Your opening moves are judged most critically during this time. Being coached early in the process gives you the confidence to say and do the right things.
How long is each intervention?
Mergercoach engagements, on average, last three to 12 months. Your coach tries to increase your effectiveness as quickly as possible. After six months, the valuable change energy from the merger is gone and you should be well on your way to bigger opportunities. (Typically, this includes another merger, IPO, or promotion.)
How do you track the progress of Mergercoach interventions?
One of our very first steps is to determine your personal merger development needs and what you or your organization wants to achieve from the merger. After administering a web-based personal profile, you and your Merger Coach will prepare a 90 to 180-day personal development plan for you. This serves as the basis for all of your interactions with your Merger Coach and the foundation for measuring your progress.
What will be required of me when I call to begin the process?
You will need a clear understanding of your organization’s merger deal strategy. Also, you will be asked to complete a web-based merger development assessment (ASSESS™). The most important thing you will need, though, is the willingness to be open-minded and the courage to submit to the process. The process is designed to do three things for those being coached: predict what is to come, offer support on how to deal with existing issues, and determine how to incorporate lessons learned to avoid falling into common pitfalls.
Does this form of coaching take into account the whole person, or simply address the business side?
When you pick up a stick, you get both ends – the whole person must be taken into account. Your performance and energy must be at an all-time high, which is accomplished by keeping your personal and business lives in lock step.
What is the guaranteed outcome?
Change! The person being coached will change. How long it takes to get to the desired change is the variable. To speak to someone who has been through the Mergercoach process, please visit the Client Testimonials section of our website. Or, we would be happy to set up a conference call with one of our past clients if you would like a personal reference.
What organizational results come from the Mergercoach process?
There are two main results you will see. First, the executives being coached will have solid, experienced advice to draw from prior to making key decisions. This is important because the new vision is being formed for the ‘go forward’ organization. Thus, an objective strategy that is well conceived will emerge. Secondly, managers and other contributors who are involved in a coaching relationship will engage in implementing this vision and understanding long-term implications of their words and actions. This ability to perceive personal and managerial impact in decision-making carries great weight when dealing with monumental change.
What portion of the Mergercoach process is customized to my unique needs?
Merger dynamics are very predictable. You and your organization are unique. The Mergercoach process blends the predictable dynamics and your character and values to increase your effectiveness exponentially.
How are the coaching results sustained over time?
Your coaching relationship should be considered a journey. After the first three months of work, Mergercoach hosts The Merger Institute for coaching participants. You and other executives will meet three times over an 18-month timeframe to accomplish these five objectives: Learn how to sustain change management efforts; receive additional coaching on injecting continuous value into your organization; receive tools to increase the commitment of your teams (which leads to increased production and quality); receive the best thinking of peers in your same industry; learn tricks to making key changes stick. Ask your Merger Coach for additional details, including pricing, for the Merger Institute.
How do I choose a Merger Coach?
Based on your needs and industry, we will generate a list of Merger Coaches matched to your needs. You will then interview and select your personal Merger Coach. Most of your interaction will be by telephone, email, and via the Internet. Geography has little impact on gaining access to and value from your Mergercoach experience; however, Merger Coaches are geographically dispersed in case personal visits are necessary.
What is the typical experience level of a Merger Coach?
Each of our specialized merger coaches has at least five years in coaching and 20 years managerial experience. Most coaches exceed these minimums and have deep industry and executive level experience. Past clients liken their Mergercoach experience to “having a CEO for a personal mentor.”
What if I’m not satisfied?
Your Merger Coach’s goal is to help you meet your goals. To get there, your coach will be very aggressive. You will visit areas of your life and career that are uncomfortable. If you are not making the progress you want to be making, discuss the issues with your Merger Coach and try to work it out. You may select another coach, if one is available, or get a refund for unused services.
What is the fee for Mergercoach?
It varies by level and number of team members receiving coaching and by the amount of resources required in a single organization. Your Merger Coach will develop a high-value solution for you and/or your organization. You will realize value from your Mergercoach experience-guaranteed, or it’s on us!
What if I’m not going through a merger but am undergoing major change?
Mergercoach has specifically designed and developed this process to be most applicable in a merger or acquisition based event. However, many of the tools and techniques your Merger Coach uses may be customized for a non-merger situation.
What other services does Mergercoach provide?
Our team’s coaches earned their experience performing full-scale merger integration projects. You have full access to all of the Mergercoach resources used in these integration projects. Additionally, our merger leadership development curriculum, The Institute™, provides up to 18 months of post-merger support for you and your organization’s executive team. Our primary focus is your personal development. Your Merger Coach will provide additional information on all other resources.
How do I learn more about the Mergercoach experience?
Frequently visit and explore our website, www.mergercoach.com. The content is continually updated with the latest merger techniques and lessons learned from our Merger Coaching experiences. Send us an email (coach@mergercoach.com), or call 972.964.3596 to let us know about your needs.