Setting the foundation for a successful acquisition

Aligning key leaders prepared a Fortune 500 integrated communications company to complete a complex acquisition.



“Having support during the planning and implementation phases of our
change brought us a ‘calming voice in the middle of a big storm.’ We struggled to capture everything by ourselves and benefited greatly from the support we received in taking what we learned and then applying it to our change.”

Senior VP of Sales, Project Sponsor


When an integrated communications company was preparing for an acquisition, a number of factors were identified that made the project complex yet consistent with many acquisitions:

  • A strict timeline.
  • Differences in technology between the acquiring and acquired companies.
  • Differences in benefits packages between the acquiring and acquired companies.
  • Broad geographical scope.

All these factors had to be considered and included within the change management strategy, but there was a challenge that was even more foundational: the alignment of all the key leaders. 

The company’s leaders were on the same page regarding the overall goal: grow the business through strategic acquisitions. There was potential misalignment, however, in the details of the project and the leaders’ understanding of the risks and desired outcomes.
Case study (3)It is common for leaders to share the same high-level goals but not be aligned on the details – or more accurately, assume everyone’s interpretation and understanding of the project are the same. For every change, clearly defining the goals and setting expectations can help ensure leaders are on the same page. 

In addition to clarifying the interpretations and roles of the leaders, LaMarsh Global supported the acquisition through planning, training and developing a strategic change plan with a comprehensive description of the change.  

By implementing the change management strategy and aligning the leaders on the desired results, the acquisition achieved a 94.3% satisfaction rating amongst impacted individuals.


“It has been a great learning experience, with a great team and a great
partner in LaMarsh Global. I’m confident we’ll be able to handle anything that comes our way in the future.” 

Senior VP of Sales, Project Sponsor


Project summary  

The organization

An American Fortune 500 integrated communications company. 

The goal

A successful acquisition of the US-based supply chain and warehousing operations of a British education publishing and assessment company, including the full integration of all technology platforms.

The project

The acquisition had a strict timeline and broad geographical scope, and it was complicated by a number of factors:

  • Both organizations had to maintain productivity in preparation for the upcoming academic year.
  • The acquired company had multiple locations and two separate workforces.
  • The acquired company had a tenured workforce and generous benefits and retirement packages, which were far different than the benefits at the acquiring company.
  • The technology platforms were more contemporary at the acquiring company.

Our approach

LaMarsh Global initiated a change team, alongside a change practitioner at the acquired company. Through planning, training and developing change capability, LaMarsh Global supported a successful acquisition and navigated the potential risks to success.

  • Defined the decision-making processes, governance and roles and responsibilities.
  • Provided change management training to project team members.
  • Conducted a change risk and readiness assessment at all locations.
  • Co-authored the change management strategy and approach.
  • Aligned the change management schedule with the program schedule.
  • Conducted enterprise design sessions to set the parameters for current state assessment and future state designs.
  • Developed internal change management capability for continuity across all implementations.
  • Designated two individuals at each location to partner with LaMarsh Global to lead the effort.

To reduce the risks related to the gap in pay and differences in benefits packages, LaMarsh Global partnered with HR to implement the following solutions: 

  • Offered bridge loans to manage pay period differences.
  • Leveled pay ranges across the locations with no loss in wages.
  • Developed an awareness campaign for use by local HR representatives.
  • Created a SharePoint site to act as a single source of truth and conduit for employee concerns.
  • Stood up and managed the Change Champion Network to support two-way communication and risk analysis.

Project outcomes

The foundation to the successful acquisition was the alignment of mindsets of leadership teams and their direct reports. When the acquisition was complete, 94.3% of the individual impacted by the change were satisfied.


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