Jennifer J Fondrevay is the founder of Day1 Ready™, a consultancy that advises forward-thinking business leaders, owners, and C-Suite executives on how to prepare for the human capital challenges of M&A. As a Fortune 500 C-Suite “survivor” of three multibillion-dollar acquisitions, Jennifer has been on all sides of the deal equation. She saw countless growth strategies fail due to a workforce that couldn’t pivot and adapt as quickly as leadership anticipated.
When her Harvard Business Review (HBR) article “After a Merger, Don’t Let “Us vs. Them” Thinking Ruin the Company” went viral, Jennifer recognized the power and interest in a human-centric approach to business transformation, where employees are at the heart of the change. She shares her expertise as a contributor to Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Thrive Global, American Marketing Association, Middle Market Growth; and as a frequent podcast guest and keynote speaker for HR conferences, associations, and Fortune 500 companies.
On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Jennifer J Fondrevay about navigating uncertainty and embracing transformation. In our conversation, Jennifer shares best practices for entering into a partnership and explores the similarities between M&A and collaboration and how the principles and processes of both can be applied to achieve success in any transformational journey.
Jennifer shares valuable insights for leaders and their teams considering a merger or acquisition, emphasizing the importance of respect for the other company. Drawing on the analogy of a successful marriage, Jennifer highlights that partnerships thrive on both sides bringing out the best in each other and recognizing the value each brings to the partnership.
She stresses the need for humility and respect when entering into a partnership and cautions against letting ego drive decision-making, which can lead to unsuccessful deals. Jennifer’s advice is a must-listen for anyone looking to enter into a successful partnership.
On the podcast, we discuss the importance of being intentional and self-aware of your value when entering into a merger or acquisition. She emphasizes the need to keep the customer at the forefront of any decision-making process, using the example of a successful acquisition where a junior product manager reminded the team to focus on the customer’s needs rather than their own egos.
Jennifer highlights that keeping the customer as the North Star can help diminish the impact of ego in business and keep teams focused on the true reason for their work. She has some great golden nuggets of wisdom that provide valuable guidance for leaders and teams looking to navigate the complexities of mergers and acquisitions.
Jennifer emphasizes the importance of the people piece in M&A; she says that there is no specific playbook for these types of deals, as each one has its unique opportunities and challenges. However, she encourages people to be intentional and contribute to the evolution of their organization.
Jennifer suggests bringing your particular skills to the partnership, embracing uncertainty, and looking for new opportunities. She also talks about the importance of collaboration, letting go of old ways, and contributing to the new vision.
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