Coping with Mergers: Executive Coaching: Case Study

L. John Mason

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Merger and Acquisitions. . . Management Culture Clash

Management styles in conflict through a merger or acquisition can dramatically affect the “bottom line. "

Case Study: From $1.5 Million/month to $11 Million/month in 5 months

A large financial company added a successful new mortgage company to expand services and increase profits. A significant problem developed when the management style of the smaller company needed to be altered to fit the larger companies management style and its corporate culture. One young, highly regarded, division manager found this to be a very difficult task. His skills, energy, and expertise were needed for the over-all success of the merger. I was recruited and hired to offer “Executive Coaching" to this key manager.

At the time I started, the division was producing 1.5-2 million dollars of business per month, where three times this was expected. In the course of my coaching we worked on many areas to improve his skills of managing, communicating, strategic focusing, and personal self-care (necessary because his stress from the merger had caused him to be less productive, effective, and motivated. ) In fact, his anger about the change in his responsibilities, who he reported to, and how the paperwork accountability had been altered from his previous routine, was so overwhelming to him that the VP of Human Resources feared his anger might exploded into violence or a harassment law suit.

We worked one time weekly and made progress in the first two months. The Executive Coaching began with assessments that uncovered his style and motivations. We built a program which started with stress management and self-care. (I wanted him to be able to survive the changes with less anger and frustration. ) We worked on his communication skills, particularly listening. I offered strategies for getting more positive responses from his manager and his reports. We developed a plan for increasing his departments business, with an emphasis on what he needed to prioritize for success. In addition, we worked out an anger management program that was tailored to his personality and the situation in his company.

His attitude improved and his performance began to move in the right direction.

More corporate changes slowed our progress in the third month, but not nearly to the degree that had existed when we began. We made some necessary revisions to our program to create even better results. By the fifth month, the performance of his department had increased to over 11 million dollars of new business per month. This was almost twice the expectation of his department. His focus, communication, and attitude were so much improved that HR decided that he did not require as much supervision, freeing up even more time for his job responsibilities.

Executives and managers have developed certain strategies for leading and managing. These can require significant adjustments after mergers. Cultures can collide, causing (an annoying alliteration) reduction of performance and productivity. There are some key management personnel that may be more susceptible to this type of concern. There may even be a conscious or unconscious process of sabotage that can cost your company in major ways. Please prepare for these situations and remain vigilant. Remember that each executive will have their own styles, attitudes, levels of experience and so require unique tailored programs for the success that your company desires. (A simple group training may seem cost effective, but will often miss the desired results. )

If you think that key executives or managers may require additional support, consider offering executive coaching. The professional intervention will save you very significant amounts of money because you may not have to remove an under-performing executive, or recruit and then train a replacement.

For more information regarding Hiring Winners, Retention of Key Personnel, Executive Stress, Managing Change and Transitions, Executive Retreat Programs, or our Train the Trainer (Stress Management training and certification) program, go to

L. John Mason, Ph. D. is the author of the best selling “Guide to Stress Reduction. " Since 1977, he has offered Executive Coaching and Training.

If there is any way that I can assist you with a specific concern, please contact me. Some of the specific details regarding the Executive Coaching programs that are offered through the Stress Education Center are available to you at the following webpage

Please visit the Stress Education Center's website at for articles, free ezine signup, and learn about the new telecourses that are available. If you would like information or a targeted proposal for training or coaching, please contact us at (707) 795-2228.

If you are looking to promote your training or coaching career, please investigate the Professional Stress Management Training and Certification Program for a secondary source of income or as career path.


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