Much is written about how to effect a merger — the business case, the due diligence, the negotiation, issue resolution and the like. Yet when it comes to putting two organizations together and making them work as one, the common thinking is, “It will just happen.”
Well, it doesn’t just happen. Merger integration is the two-thirds of the merger that most people underestimate, ignore or give little attention and priority. Yet the integration process has a lifespan that can be measured in years, while the deal itself may have taken only months to conclude. In law firms the problem is worse, as the key individuals who put the deal together quickly return to the practice of law. Meanwhile, the administrative staff struggles with making it all work. And unfortunately, the administrative side of merger integration is only one piece of the overall integration effort.