Avoiding the M&A Failure Club

Australasia’s Authority On M&A Culture Integration

Don’t jeopardise the success of your M&A deal due to avoidable people and culture issues


Avoiding The M&A Failure Club
(What The Numbers Don’t Reveal)

For Executives Accountable For The Successful Outcomes Of Their Merger & Acquisition Deals


How Well Do You Understand The Deal-Breakers
In Your Organisation?

As a CEO or senior leader responsible for the success of your merger or acquisition, you are the one tasked with delivering the synergies and results. While it’s imperative to focus on the numbers and the day-to-day operations, it’s the people side of the transaction that will ultimately make or break the deal.

Current research sets the failure rate for M&As at 70-90%. A key reason behind this high failure rate is that leaders tend to get caught up in the systems and process aspects of implementation and neglect the people and culture side of things.

Have you determined the culture you need to deliver your new strategy? Do you know how to inspire, align and engage your people throughout this major change? Are you ready to unlock the potential of your deal?

Introducing “Avoiding the M&A Failure Club”

In this groundbreaking book, you’ll discover:

  • The keys to delivering more successful M&A outcomes
  • How to speed up implementation and integration
  • Why leaving people and culture to HR, or waiting until you’ve solved operational issues, can drive up the failure rate
  • How to deal with the emotional impacts of change that can jeopardise people’s well-being and damage your reputation as a leader
  • What you can do to bring your organisation together in a positive way that creates value for all stakeholders 


Avoiding the M&A Failure Club

About the Author


Linley Watson is Australasia’s authority on M&A culture integration. She is the co-founder and CEO of Peak Performance International, a leading trans-Tasman people and culture consultancy.

For more than 20 years Linley has been highly sought after by senior leaders to help drive major organisational change, including mergers and acquisitions. Her company Peak Performance International has designed and implemented significant cultural change initiatives, consulted on M&A deals and trained over 50,000 people from organisations such as Air New Zealand, Bank of New Zealand, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Link Group (including Australian Administration Services and Superpartners), National Australia Bank, Rabobank, Scottish Pacific, Suncorp, Telecom New Zealand (now Spark), Treasury Wine Estates, UBS, Vodafone New Zealand and more.

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Avoiding the M&A Failure Club

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M&A Planning and Integration

“We engaged the services of Peak Performance International as we looked to acquire our main competitor. It was the largest project we had ever engaged in and hence sought assistance in planning the acquisition and integration.

A detailed communications strategy was developed with assistance from Peak Performance. It made sure we covered areas we hadn’t considered, touched people we had not thought of and all in a way that was in line with our Values and Culture. In the integration planning area, resources were supplied that had experience and knowledge past our means.

Throughout the engagement, it was clear that Peak Performance had experience across the whole acquisition, integration and merger process that we did not and that was critical to our success.” Peter Langham

CEO, Scottish Pacific

M&A Culture Integration

“Link Group has an ambitious growth agenda, having acquired and integrated 35 business combinations over the past decade. Working in partnership with Peak Performance, we created the ‘Customer First be the difference’ program which was first rolled out to over 1,000 people in 2010/11.

Customer First has now become a key component of our integration strategy and Peak Performance partnered with us again in 2015/16, helping us successfully assimilate the 2,000 people of Superpartners into the Link Group. We have appreciated Peak Performance’s expertise in customising programs for our unique environment, their willingness to collaborate with other partners and their focus on delivering successful outcomes for the business.” Ferzana Yale

Chief Human Resources Officer, Link Group

Customer-Centric Culture Change

“I have had the opportunity to work with Linley and her Peak Performance International team on a number of larger change programmes. If you are looking to help your organisation become more Customer Obsessed, then this is the team that can help you achieve your goals. Not only are they easy to work with and very knowledgeable, they also understand the practicalities of large organisations and how to help you navigate the changes you need to make. Highly recommended.” Kelly Moore

Former Director of Service, Vodafone New Zealand

Developing Leaders

“Suncorp engaged Peak Performance to help around 2500 leaders with day-to-day leadership challenges in the fast-paced business environment they operate in. Peak Performance facilitators successfully delivered almost 300 half-day workshops providing leaders with the ability and the tools to take key learnings and apply them immediately back in their roles. I would recommend Peak Performance International and happily engage them again in the future.” Lynda Shergold

Former Leadership & Engagement Strategy Manager, Suncorp

Customer-Centric Sales Culture

“Linley and the team at Peak Performance clearly understood our unique organisational culture and the need to ensure that our sales program built on our customer service focus and enhanced the position that Bendigo held within the banking industry. Peak Performance provided guidance, support and most importantly, flexibility in building and delivering our sales culture program, originally titled Being the Bendigo. The program engaged our broader staff teams to build success for our customers while also delivering on the growth objectives of the bank.

The program has been regularly updated over the past decade and this long-term engagement with Peak Performance has been a very successful and rewarding journey for all. It has built a strong foundation for us going forwards.” Dennis Bice

Former Executive Retail, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

Culture Assessment

“Many changes have happened since we launched the new culture and we wanted to understand if we had brought it life. We wanted to do a simple global culture survey with almost 4,000 people, in three languages, online and on paper (to cater for our vineyard workers).

We looked at various vendors and their survey tools and decided to use Peak Performance and the Cultural Transformation Tools. We were impressed with the qualities of Linley and her team and the tools. They really care about the outcome for our business and how they can best support us to achieve our objectives.” Madelyn Ring

Former Global Director Learning & OD, Treasury Wine Estates

Anyone who has led a merger, acquisition, or divestment knows that there is a huge effort involved in making the deal work. Most M&As fail to deliver the expected benefits and financial returns due to challenges with the people and culture side of the transaction, such as breakdowns in communication, loss of productivity and drain on morale and engagement.

In Avoiding The M&A Failure Club, Linley shares stories from her experience with corporate clients, recent research and insights from interviews with leaders who have collectively survived over 200 M&A deals, impacting hundreds of thousands of people.

From due diligence to post-merger integration, Avoiding The M&A Failure Club will help you address essential people and culture issues so you can deliver on your deal’s specific objectives.

This book will help you:

  • Understand the critical impact organisational culture has on mergers and acquisitions
  • Build the case for making organisational culture a top priority in M&A
  • Apply the principles of change more effectively throughout the emotional journey of M&A integration
  • Avoid some of the common pitfalls that lead to costly integration mistakes
Avoiding the M&A Failure Club
  • Reduce the risk of M&A failure due to people and culture issues
  • Keep up the momentum, create more value and deliver better M&A results