John Kahle Executive, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Kimball Electronics, discussed what it takes to build a successful organization after an acquisition during his presentation at the 2015 Chief Legal Officer Leadership Forum in Washington D.C. on June 16. In his presentation, Kahle pointed out that acquisitions can be challenging, but being flexible can help employees and managers during any transition period.
According to Kahle, employee engagement is important during an acquisition. Hosting information sessions to educate employees and managers about what will happen following an acquisition, Kahle said, helps these professionals stay on track. In addition, he pointed out that minimizing the amount of time between an acquisition and its completion can help an organization reduce the risk of a potential collapse: “I think we really feel like people engaged in this. They’re the people you want, the people out there going through all the problems. … Not people, when you retire, on the one hand you theoretically have more time to devote to your board. On the other hand, maybe not; maybe you’re not that interested. Maybe you’re only getting prepared two days before. We preferred the active over the retired.”
Kahle said how an organization prepares for an acquisition can have far-flung effects on the end results. If an organization examines its vulnerabilities and addresses these problems early, Kahle said, it can complete the acquisition process without delays or interference: “The preparation is just always look at your vulnerabilities, review your structure,. buy backs, all those things to make sure that you’ve got the moat filled or you’re at least being responsive to what people want. What your shareholders are saying and I think these are all common sense.”