When you think of agile you probably think of software development. How about merger and acquisition activities? In 2012, Kison Patel happened on the idea of transforming the M&A process through an agile method supported by technology at DealRoom.net. Our guest is also the author of M&A Tactics and the M&A Tactics Handbook. Kison explains how the core four values of the Agile Manifesto apply to M&A.
- Kison’s educational background – not finance?
- What is DealRoom?
- What is the agile M&A journey?
- Transformation vs scale/capability/scope
- Why disrupting yourself is important
- The Agile Manifesto
- The Agile M&A Core Principles
- M&A Plays vs Playbooks (very insightful and fascinating)
- The Corporate Development and the Integration Teams
- Why integrations fail
- Kison’s definition of True North
Mark’s Favorite Lines in Kison’s Book, Agile M&A
Regarding disruption as a way to not just to expand what the business is doing but to transform themselves:
To disrupt yourself, you have essentially two options: to transform from the inside, or to acquire the capabilities that you require to fully evolve.
Atlassian has been a positive influence on Kison’s thinking about agile M&A which is available to the public where the focus is on plays vs. playbooks.
Their “Team Playbook” is an incredible open source of information resource aimed at their peers in other companies.
Regarding transformational deals:
Acquisitions are made not for scale, but for capability or scope. Where transactional or scale deals move toward increasing market share through cost synergies, transformational deals accelerate growth, as acquisitions bring in new capabilities with emphasis on efficiency and cost effectiveness.
Which then means …
A new model for M&A comes with a new mindset: rather than focus on pre-planned cost synergies, Agile M&A is based on continuously discovering and capturing value.
The two key players on the deal team:
- The Deal Lead – owns the M&A process overall
- The Deal PM – operates directly under the deal lead and is responsible for end-to-end program management
Regarding post-merger integration:
… the earlier integration staff are brought into a deal, the more likely the deal is to meet its ultimate objectives.
The facts about M&A failure:
- Most M&A initiatives fail during integration
- Failure typically has nothing to do with the integration team
- The integration team is usually blamed for failure anyway
The Agile Manifesto Four Essential Values
Kison Patel’s Favorite Books
Some of my favorite book recommendations come from those I get to interview on the CFO Bookshelf podcast. During our conversation, Kison mentioned four titles. He said that he’s reading the Robert Greene book with his daughter. Sorry, no spoilers. You’ll have to listen for yourself on how that’s going.
To learn more about Kison Patel and to connect with him, start here:
Here are the business-related links: