Change Management in International Business

BLOG8th May 2017

Change Management in International Business

Change can come in many guises, such as launching a new product or service, bringing a new management team on board or the integration of international organisations following M&A activity. Whilst these are all positive activities, approaching, handling and adapting to change can be challenging for many. Change can often frighten us and it is sometimes avoided. The assumption can be that things will be different for the worse. This is not always the case. Growing overseas for example can be exciting, it can open many new doors, including new customers, new markets and opportunities to bring in new ideas and ultimately generate business development and growth.

International M&A and organisational change

To strategically enter a new international region by acquisition, organisations need to plan beyond the transaction itself to accommodate for integration and change. Acquisitions may include transfer of production and / or operations, assets, infrastructure and personnel. It can be particularly challenging when this is led remotely, sometimes from another country or continent. In AAB’s experience, it can be effective to engage a trusted integration or change management partner to deliver the project along with the management teams locally. Once this approach is established as early as possible, it can help build a structure for a smooth process to deal completion and beyond, as well as future acquisitions in later years.

What does change management involve?

Any international change process needs to be carefully planned and managed. Some of the key items to be considered before embarking on a project may be:

  • Communication programme with considerations for internal and external stakeholders
  • Integration planning and management of systems, financials, processes and people
  • Collaboration opportunities
  • Staff tracking, global payroll and staff management
  • Culture change and team dynamics
  • International tax compliance

Large scale, cross border and possibly cross time zone projects can be daunting and difficult to manage with the number of moving parts involved. However, managed well, change and integration planning will result in the successful transition of assets and personnel.

Tell us what you think

This interesting area of expanding overseas and M&A change management is one of the topics on the agenda at our Talent Across Borders seminar event, which is being held in London, 25 May and Aberdeen 11 May. Challenges will be presented to industry experts who will discuss, debate and present case studies on the key issues faced by businesses as they navigate the complex path to increased global success.

To find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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