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Managing M&As: The Human Side Of Mergers And Acquisitions
Episode 1416th November 2021 • Survive & Thrive • Jennifer Ayres
00:00:00 00:26:28

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Mergers and acquisitions come with a ton of unique challenges and changes that must be planned for and well-executed in order to be successful. However, while most focus on the financial side of things, the human element of M&As can’t be ignored either.

On this episode of the Survive & Thrive podcast, we’re joined by Melanie Payne, the CFO at Syniti. Melanie has been one of my favorite people to go to when I’m stuck with a complex challenge. With a wealth of experience and insight, Melanie is the perfect person to talk about managing a M&A.


Introducing Melanie Payne (1:27)

Jennifer introduces Melanie to the show, sharing some of the highlights from her career.

The human component (4:52)

While many companies spend a lot of time and money on the tech and financial portions of M&As, it’s imperative to also recognize the human side as well. Melanie talks about focusing on the human component.

Navigating M&As:

Leading through a M&A (8:54)

Melanie gives her thoughts on how companies and leaders can help aid or hinder the process.

Planning and managing ahead (11:35)

With any M&A, you must not only account for the immediate changes but plan for 6 or even 12 months down the line. Melanie also details how different people can be at wildly different points in the journey.

Potential challenges (13:12)

Melanie outlines the other challenges that might crop up when organizations undergo a major change.

Planning ahead during mergers and acquisitions:

Empathy (14:35)

If you’ve been following the show, you know empathy is a big theme of ours. But what does it look like in the workplace and how can leaders harness empathy while still being professional? Melanie provides her insight.

Planning for resistance (16:22)

While we all imagine our messages will be received with open arms, that isn’t always the case. Melanie says you should anticipate resistance and prepare solutions ahead of time.

Planning ahead (18:59)

Melanie shares some advice on what a 6- or 12-month plan would look like following initial integration.


Most surprising (20:37)

Given Melanie’s multitude of experiences in change management and within different organizations, she explains what’s surprised her the most.

Why (21:55)

Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in the “how” when dealing with a change, but the “why” is what provides context. Melanie highlights the importance of “why” and what can happen when you dismiss it.

Thriving (24:56)

Melanie shares three pieces of advice she believes can help leaders and organizations not just survive but thrive in change.