Case Study

Acquisition & Merger Integration:
Overcoming Fears & Driving Success

The Challenge

Conscient Strategies was charged with navigating the merger of two international member organizations. Although they shared a common mission, the organizations were distinctly different and neither was properly positioned to deliver on the evolving needs of its members. As such, the end goal was not just a successful merger, but an emergence as a re-positioned, unified entity.

Key Objectives

  To establish a single, new culture that respected the cultures of the original organizations while serving the vision of the merged organization

  To redefine membership services to increase the relevancy within a changing marketplace

  To reverse declining financial situations

  To manage expectations of highly involved boards

Hurdles for Leadership, Board, and Staff

Letting go of “what is” typically encounters resistance and creates stress among staff. In this organization, staff and management were challenged to re-imagine services and positioning. Nothing was exempt from analysis and “We’ve always done it that way” was not a reason to continue what was.

Coming together as one organization required guidance and cooperation at every level. We worked with executives to align their financial management practices and leadership styles. The two Boards needed to reconcile governance and level of involvement with the organization. At the staff level, employees needed to embrace new social and professional relationships while developing and adjusting to new processes. Employees all along the hierarchy needed to feel empowered to experiment, to fail, to innovate, and to succeed.

Managing risk and financial outcomes was crucial to the success of the merger. We helped leaders develop a single view of acceptable risk and rationalize finances to reflect common definitions and time frames.

What We Accomplished

established a unified vision

  • Redefined the positioning of the organization to be a center of innovation in the market
  • Utilized benchmarking and brainstorming to model and establish new ways of tackling issues and getting ideas flowing

defined & integrated a new culture

  • Transitioned culture to focus on innovation, collaboration, and responsibility
  • Infused new culture into behaviors and actions
  • Developed and implemented processes that reflected the new culture


  • Defined new roles, responsibilities, and positions
  • Led the search for a new CEO who would align with the new vision
  • Established a new Board and governance structure

improved finances

  • Repositioned the organization to drive greater revenues
  • Revised the service portfolio to optimize both the top and bottom lines

Where Are They Now?

“Today, much of the core structure that guides our organization is the result of the foundational work led by Conscient Strategies. We are most grateful for their insights, their consulting support, and their sophisticated understanding of systems.”

“The team at Conscient Strategies was instrumental in helping guide the merger process of our two predecessor associations, while also leading the vision and culture development for our fledgling new entity.

From the mechanics of the merger process to the countless administrative details to the planning process for our new structure, the Conscient Strategies team shared their attention to detail, along with their ability to navigate and support change.”

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