Deal Sponsor, Corporate Development Lead, HR, Seller Deal Champion
Pen and Paper
Depends on how complex the candidate pool is and the number of conversations need to gain consensus from your selection group
As soon as the deal sponsor gets buy-in from the board to do a deal, the corporate development leader and the deal sponsor need to meet, preferably with HR. The above parties need to discuss who, within the organization, would be appropriate candidates to be the integration lead of that deal. The brainstorming does not end when the initial meeting ends. To be true to a people-centric integration approach, and if time allows, the seller deal champion should also be involved. The seller deal champion can provide recommendations on how to open up the candidate pool to someone who may be highly qualified at the target company.
Below is a criteria card to aid your thinking.
An eye for details - Select someone who leaves no stone unturned, and knows how to uncover risks and mitigate them. There are so many nuances during integration, and the integration leader must be meticulous enough to check everything.
If you can not find anyone in your organization that is suitable to lead integration for a specific deal, then consider looking for outside help. Integration professionals are always a good choice since they are experienced and knowledgeable about the process. The above scorecard can be used to also measure external resources.
One of the biggest advantages of an external consultant is their inability to be biased. Too often, integration leads have friends down the hallway and there are interpersonal relationships that come into play. Biases are mitigated with an external party.
However, one of the biggest disadvantages of an external consultant is that any new member to an organization will need to overcome the trust and confidence issues that will most certainly arise. Strong executive support will be of the utmost importance for the external consultant in order for them to lead integration.
A crucial criterion for the integration lead should be how well networked the person is within the organization. At the end of the day, a key part of integration is to help each workstream deliver on the tasks that are important to the success of an acquisition or divestiture. Without the clout that a well-networked manager often has, there may be uphill effort to acquire political capital, which can drag out integration.
One very effective way to find the right person for the integration lead role is to nurture someone. Take a moment to step back and strategically think about an integration lead before you are pressed against the wall to find one for an immediate deal. Any deal will certainly involve workstreams. And from these workstreams, you can find the diamonds-in-the-rough who can be a future integration leader. Once these candidates are spotted, offer them an opportunity to work closer with a deal lead or deal champion. Give them more access to the steering committee to help them earn comfort under fire.
All too often we look passed what is right under our nose. Nurturing existing talent within an organization is inexpensive. The right In-house talent will have already accumulated herculean political capital and respect from their peers, way more than an consultant can bring to the table. So start with the intangible to turn any integration into a tangible success.