Master your merger with the help of a seasoned professional.
Efficiency, effectiveness, and expansion are sought-after goals of most organizations regardless of the sector in which they operate. Businesses want to grow their customer base – not-for-profits want to service more clients in need. In some cases, an integration is seen as the best way to accomplish these goals. Whatever the reason for an integration, they are challenging but rewarding decisions that can increase capability and likelihood of success – if they are done properly.
Success stories of big business mergers are quite easy to find as many companies are forced to meet the demands of a competitive business environment. In the not-for-profit sector, the successes are often smaller and quieter although some recent high-profile ones like the United Way in Toronto and York (and now Peel) provide hope to those who are considering such a move with some apprehension. Not-for-profit mergers can be more challenging, but with proper guidance, can yield positive outcomes similar to big business successes. From analysis to planning, and ultimately implementation, the presence of an experienced executive will help smooth the transition and the likelihood of a successful result. One of our integration experts, Melodie Zarzeczny, shares some of her insights about not-for-profit mergers in this newsletter.
Melodie is just one of our roster of professionals with proven experience planning, managing, and overseeing organizational transitions in both business and not-for-profit organizations. Our Principals have demonstrated strong leadership and decision-making in the often-challenging circumstances provided in mergers. For more detailed information, please review some of our case studies and blogs showcasing our work.
President and Managing Partner, The Osborne Group
Integrations in the Not-for-Profit Sector: Observations from the Front Line
- Boards of Directors are critical to success. They should be involved early and often. They should not be engaged at the end of the process. After all, they are the organization’s stewards.
- Engage your Boards in discussions of systems-level issues. If you expect your Boards to make decisions that contribute to systems goals, then they must understand the system. Most Board members are passionate about and protective of the agency they support; they are not necessarily accustomed to thinking at a systems level, but they can rise to the challenge if given information and a forum for discussion.
- Thoroughly explore and articulate the rationale. If it’s not compelling, don’t proceed. Vague notions of being able to improve service delivery are not enough. How, exactly, are you going to improve service? How are you going to measure progress and success?
- Don’t underestimate the amount of time a well-planned integration will take. If you rush it, you risk a bad result.
- Don’t fool yourself; integration costs money. Efficiencies might be possible in the long run, but be prepared to spend money to get there.