Every Acquisition Needs a Change Champion

In 2016, a past client sponsor joined a high-profile, global Fortune 500 firm as their EVP – Chief Transformation Officer. He knew from the outset they would need to undergo seismic changes to remain successful. The company had not invested time or money toward updating its back-office systems and, as a result, found themselves unable to implement technology advancements that were critical to remain competitive. After 20 years of deprioritizing investments in and around their back-office technologies, there was a lot of work to be done to modernize systems, transform day-to-day operations, and re-train existing employees, all while being attractive to new associates.

Our client asked us to evaluate this company’s structural health and change readiness. We examined their challenges and considered options. Everyone was eager for change, but they were unsure where to start. Our discovery exercise showed them what worked and unmasked areas that needed a higher level of governance and guidance. We delivered a plan built around a proven success framework to support prioritization, allowing them to build and execute their transformation plans around people, processes, and technologies. 

In Summary

Here are some consistencies we’ve experienced with big transformational changes of serial acquirers:

Focus on Governance and Decision Making

Following most acquisitions, when leadership teams attempt to consolidate systems and operations, there is a disconnect between what worked for one company and what works now for both. Investing time in reimagining business, workflow, and supporting systems that support a customer experience that is compelling is necessary for growth now and into the future.

Alignment of Internal and Customer Facing Operations

While it might seem intuitive to develop customer-facing operations following an acquisition or series of transactions, focusing only on what generates revenue is a mistake. Customer satisfaction and overall business growth will decline without modernizing back-office operations.

A Change Champion

In every successful integration and technology transformation, a clear leader or team emerges to drive the rationale and need for exponential change. Sometimes they show up later, but whenever they emerge, having respected, credible, operationally-and client-focused leadership at the helm ensures that activities are well connected.  A highly-empowered senior sponsors keeps the need and mission for change clear, and keeps customers at the forefront. 

The Future Belongs to Those Who Adapt

At ESG, we understand how challenging it is to undergo transformational changes when dealing with outdated systems in a serial acquisition environment. We’d love to discuss how we can best serve you. Contact us today to learn more.


Mark Newhall

Founder of ESG