Paul J. Siegenthaler

Joining our expertise and hands-on experience

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” - George Bernard Shaw

Creating an effective bridge between the consultants and the Client’s “real world”

All too often, Client companies will tend to oppose consultants’ advice to what happens in (their) “real world” – theory opposed to the crass realities of practice - rather than seek to understand how the proposed frameworks and proven processes can be adapted to a particular environment to provide the coherence and solid governance that are required to drive a successful business integration programme.

My repeated experience of collaborating with teams from leading consulting firms (1), as a member of a company’s senior executive team or as an interim senior executive acting on behalf of a Client company, has given me numerous opportunities to adapt the various advisors’ M&A “toolkits” into a steps and initiatives which feel relevant and tangible to the Client. When working with a Client company and teams of external advisers, my role is to articulate for the Client the “what does this mean for you”, obtain understanding, acceptance and ultimately adoption by the Client, so that the integration can be led towards a successful outcome.

This is the background that has led HEC Business School in Paris (Hautes Etudes Commerciales), as well as the London School of Economics and Manchester Business School, to invite me to lecture to Executive MBA classes as well as on bespoke Executive Education courses on the practicalities of integrating companies following a merger or acquisition.
Working with the insider change catalyst

We all know that sustainable change can only happen from within. In other words, advisors seen as external individuals can only have the legitimacy of recommending what needs to be done, but do not have the authority to carry out those recommendations.

I, on the other hand, take on the role of a quasi-internal person – in the absence of internal senior resources that have the available bandwidth and prior experience required to lead transformational change. Most Client companies provide me with an internal title, internal email address, staff badge and business cards. I become “one of them”, for a finite period but with a clear remit and authority to drive the integration to a successful outcome.

This is why my collaboration with teams from a variety of leading consulting companies1 has been mutually beneficial for all parties involved : the Client whose transformation initiative achieves its stated objectives, and the consulting parties and advisors, whose recommendations and tools are followed-up internally and put to good effect, thereby adding to those consultants’ list of satisfied and successful Clients.

(1) over the past 12 years these have included included : McKinsey, Bain & Co., Boston Consulting Group, Alix Partners, Eden-McCallum, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, IBM Consulting, Deloitte, KPMG, SAP, Oliver Wyman, Araia Consulting (Germany) 


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