Coevolving: At Last, a Way to Make Synergies Work


Customer behavior analysis (CBA) is the study of how individual customers, groups, or segments act when interacting with your product. Boris Logvinsky talks about the importance of building context and understanding customer challenges when you move between industries. Problems with synergy and trust aren’t tied to a specific role, but the person who works between the teams is responsible for bridging the gap. In business, you’ll often hear the phrase, “two heads are better than one.” You also probably find yourself tasked with way too much to complete on your own.

  1. The merged company may gain access to more products and services to sell through an extensive distribution network.
  2. Synergy is a concept that says, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.
  3. If they use those resources individually, they can incur higher expenses.
  4. When team members can be their full selves at work, they can unlock better collaboration and synergy.
  5. Synergy is when two or more organizations interact or cooperate to produce a combined effect that is greater than the sum of its separate parts.

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With the help of your coworkers, you can improve efficiency and stay on track to achieve your goals. Every company has its own company culture and each member adds value to it. The reasons for this can vary from a minor misunderstanding where does rent go on a balance sheet or a major debacle. Being empathetic allows you to be present with the speaker emotionally and understanding them by putting yourself into their shoes. It will enable you to feel the speaker’s emotions, either sad, joyful, or fearful.

The Kraft/ Heinz Company

The second thing is around translating a deal model into an integration target. Let’s say you have a head of IT who is brought in to look at the system footprint and the road map for a company you are acquiring, as well as the synergy opportunity. That person may get comfortable and say, “There is $10 million worth of opportunity.” Once you have made the acquisition, you really want to think bigger. Getting that person to a bolder aspiration, not only on the technology road map but also on synergy capture, really lies in the leadership and change management. Another common question is the transition to integration planning and when you need to involve people. If certain executives aren’t included, they might not believe in the deal and the synergy opportunity, and that may produce a setback in terms of value capture.

Motives for Takeovers and Mergers

This second approach is more detailed and possibly more accurate; however, it’s very challenging for anyone outside of the deal to accurately perform this analysis themselves. However, there are other “soft” synergies that may also arise due to a merger. One example is a common corporate culture that will allow the merged firm to be more easily successful.


LogRocket simplifies workflows by allowing Engineering, Product, UX, and Design teams to work from the same data as you, eliminating any confusion about what needs to be done. You should be the one who demonstrates workspace culture and encourages collaboration. You can only deliver successful products with the help of everyone. Marty Cagan wrote about the importance of having the right people in his book Inspired. He explains selecting the right people to the right roles determines the team’s success or failure. He also mentions how product managers increase effectiveness of the teams.

This typically includes a strengthened balance sheet, a lower cost of capital, tax benefits, and easier access for the combined firm to capital. Corporate synergy describes the expected additional value companies achieve by merging. In other words, two companies working together under a merger or acquisition can produce more value than the sum of their individual effects.

Also, by publicly announcing, we put a bit of an onus on our organization to deliver. In organizations that announce expected synergies, that number hangs out there. Andy and I just talked about how sometimes you need to break that number and aspire for a larger number, but the organization will feel that the announced one is a must-hit number. And if you don’t announce anything, oftentimes there is a lack of information as to what the synergies are and what the aspirations will be. Interestingly, companies announce synergies not because they are paying a lower premium.

Beyond the complexity that often gets in the way of realizing synergies, there are often difficulties in realizing revenue synergies. As you assess revenue synergies, it is critical to look at the synergies from the view of a customer. Will it be simple for the customer to understand, purchase, and service? As you think about revenue synergies, you have to think through if it makes sense from a customer perspective.

We have seen companies apply a buffer of several hundred percent. So, you may have a $100 million target, but you use the deal as an occasion to maybe loop in an additional transformational program or a cost program that you were considering anyway. Pest synergy would occur in a biological host organism population, where, for example, the introduction of parasite A may cause 10% fatalities, and parasite B may also cause 10% loss. When both parasites are present, the losses would normally be expected to total less than 20%, yet, in some cases, losses are significantly greater. In such cases, it is said that the parasites in combination have a synergistic effect.

This could result if the merged firms experience problems caused by vastly different leadership styles and corporate cultures. The other thing is, companies are often very bad at estimating, outside in, the cultural differences between themselves and the potential target. Therefore, get a common understanding of how much culture will matter here. If you are making an IP acquisition, if you are keeping the business separate, having a different culture might be totally fine. That is a very different plane of approach than if you do something like a corporate transformation, which is big but pushes you into an adjacency, a different vertical, or a different part of your value chain.

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