Respect for the Business and Its Values.

 
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The acquisition must be a "temperamental fit."

No acquisition works unless the people in the acquiring company have respect for the product, the markets, and the customers of the company they acquire. Though many large pharmaceutical companies have acquired cosmetic firms, none has made a great success of it. Pharmacologists and biochemists are "serious" people concerned with health and disease. By the same token, few of the big television networks and other entertainment companies have made a go of the book publishers they bought. Books are not "media," and neither book buyers nor authors - a book publisher's two customer - bear any resemblance to what the Nielsen rating means by "audience." Sooner or later, usually sooner, a business requires a decision. People who do not respect or feel comfortable with the business, its products, and its users invariably make the wrong decision.

ACTION POINT: Take an acquisition with which you are familiar. Was there a temperamental fit between the two companies? How did the companies respect, or fail to respect, each other's business?

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