The Yin and Yang of M&A Integration

The yin-yang symbol represents the ancient Chinese understanding of how things work. In the context of merger integration, think of the white area (yang) as project management and the black area (yin) as people management.
Project Management (Yang)
People Management (Yin)
Project Management (Yang)
Deals with the "mechanics" of the integration
People Management (Yin)
Deals with the "personality" of the integration
Project Management (Yang)
Focus is on structure, order, and control—e.g., planning, accountabilities, organizaiton charts, integration velocity, timelines, flow charts, process, etc.
People Management (Yin)
Focus is on the psychological, social, political, and cultural issues in play that represent critical risk factors
Project Management (Yang)
Involves administrative, operational, and technical matters
People Management (Yin)
Involves the human side of organizational change
Project Management (Yang)
Concerned with the physical aspects of consolidating two organizations—e.g., technology, facilities, accounts, products, systems, equipment, etc.
People Management (Yin)
Concerned with the intangibles, emotions, and atmospherics involved in consolidating two organizations—e.g., personal and cultural matters such as egos, ambitions, expectations, roles, power, status, values, beliefs, traditions, taboos, habits, etc.
Project Management (Yang)
Methodology-oriented; procedural, stystematic, analytic, logical, practical, by-the-numbers
People Management (Yin)
Attitudinal/behavioral-oriented; fluid, dynamic, and nonlinear; highly charged; combustible; many trigger points
Too often, merging organizations concentrate too heavily on one at the expense of the other. Both project and people management require adequate attention in order to realize the full potential of an acquisition.
M&A People Management Services: