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  • Writer's picturesarah krier

The Empathetic Acquisition: Exploring empathy as a tool in merger integrations

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

On one of my many drives along 1-94, coming and going from Milwaukee to Madison for my 8am class on strategic innovation, I caught myself wondering about mergers and acquisitions.

I've only worked at two companies in my short, 5-year career - a small tech company in Green Bay, WI and a massive, publicly-traded international credit reporting agency. Two entirely unique organizaitons changing in similar ways - one, acquired, the other on a buying spree, but both pursuing growth.

I thought about the monumental undertaking it is to combine two fully distinct entities into one. I had been sitting in meetings reviewing mundane financial analyses, business cases, and acquisition cases to select and justify these large purchases. In both of my experiences, a lot of focus was put on finding the natural seams and attempted to proverbially "follow the money."

It it made me wonder, is there a better way to go about mergers and acquisitions? To integrate two companies so that they hit the ground running to find success? Is there a strategic way to disrupt the ways two companies work to amplify their innovation potential? Is there a formula or framework beyond the accountants and financial forecasts you an use to unlock revenue-generating creativity in changing organizations?

Research Objective

Execute research and interviews to explore how combining people, products, ideas, and businesses using design thinking principles can unlock new growth potential. Findings will be distilled and refined into a unique thought leadership report about how M&A and integration for innovation can be facilitatied through design.

Read the Full Report Below

For a look into the types of activities, strategies, and teams that design thinking is well-aligned to in the post-merger integration process, read the full report.

The Empathetic Acquisition - Final
Download PDF • 1.46MB

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