Meridien Consulting Associates Ltd.
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Organization Change Management and
Integration Support for Mergers and Acquisitions



According to recent research from the Conference Board of Canada, Canadian businesses report that they are extremely dissatisfied with the manner in which they manage change, with 18 % reporting that their change management skills are poor. They report that it is neither the technical nor financial aspects of organizational change that lead to poor results, but rather the inability to predict and manage the human dynamics of change.

Meridien Associates has deep expertise in using organization development methodology to assist clients in managing change. Organization development is, at its core, "planned change". This includes the development of skills and strategies for helping managers and employees deal effectively with change. Our expertise assists clients who are anticipating or dealing with significant changes such as mergers, downsizing, re-structuring, demographic challenges, quality or customer service initiatives, cultural shifts due to new leadership, and so on.

Depending on the size of the client and of the project, we design a complete change intervention, or facilitate the work of a leadership team which is charged with this responsibility. Our goal is to provide direction that shapes and structures the intervention, and to build client ownership of both process and outcome.

Our interventions have ranged from the development and rollout of change leader or facilitator training/coaching to large-scale organizational change readiness assessments followed by interventions affecting thousands of employees. Often there are educational or training elements within the intervention followed by ongoing coaching, or facilitation of a process of change. Sometimes the change being facilitated is structural in nature, sometimes it involves a shift in business orientation or strategy, and often it is linked to changes in work process (as in teamwork or internal customer: supplier projects). We build in evaluation components to measure the effectiveness of the intervention, and assist clients to plot progress made toward accomplishment of organizational, team and individual goals. We have consulted on the establishment of formative and summative programme evaluation measures, and have provided training and consultation on the development of balanced scorecard metrics.

We work as coaches/counselors to employees and change leaders to assist them to understand the predictable human dynamics associated with change. We help them to identify personal and systemic barriers to successful transition.

All of our organizational change assignments involve the development of strategies for communication. Often we are called upon to design or consult on the design of change-related communication tools and processes. Sometimes, as in the case of large scale strategic planning or visioning events (such as future search conference facilitation with large groups of employees and stakeholders), the intervention is the communication strategy. Almost all interventions require the preparation and delivery of presentations to senior managers and executives.

We have facilitated "town hall" type discussions to enhance communication, resolve conflicts and improve collaboration during organizational transition.

Meridien's approach fosters the development of self-sufficiency in the client. Given the nature of our practice, we often enter into relationships at a time when clients are experiencing significant change, urgency and stress. However, we are able to build trust quickly with both organizational leaders and staff, resulting in long-term consulting relationships. We bring and share expertise with our clients and sometimes work in a train-the-trainer capacity to ensure the transfer of knowledge and skills.

Case Study Example:

Consulted on the integration of two large urban hospitals including:

  • presentations of merger/organization change theory to the hospital task force
  • custom-design and administration of an organization values/culture assessment (qualitative and quantitative instrument and processes) to pinpoint integration-related priorities
  • generation of a report indicating findings and recommendations for the Hospital
  • presentation of results to the top 150 managers including train-the-trainer workshop components so that they could review the presentation results with their staff and begin action planning
  • evaluation of the communication workshop
  • video taping of the presentation to communicate the survey results and recommendations
  • recommended design of implementation strategy and designed evaluation of communication process
  • facilitated for approximately 9 months, the work of three large cross-functional teams charged with developing action plans to address organizational needs within the merged hospitals.