The Psychology of a Good Acquisition

It’s great to start a new year with positive company announcement like our newest strategic acquisition, Clinical Trials of America. Please find the posted news release here. IMA continues to grow organically and through acquisitions. To date, IMA has made 15 acquisitions, representing 300% growth in Clinical Research division over the past few years.

The Psychology of an Acquisition

As a licensed psychologist, I find myself utilizing my training daily, particularly when approaching a potential seller and acquisition target. Sellers are often independent, entrepreneurial leaders looking to monetize the success they have acquired through hard work. Selling one’s company is often emotional and requires trust and cultural alignment. In my role, I am aware of the importance of empathy, partnership, and transparency in my approach to business owners.

I’ve always believed that a good acquisition is much more than a wise business decision. It must add value for clients and stakeholders, be thoughtful, benefit the organization operationally and financially, and be a positive move for the people it impacts.

At its essence, psychology is the study of mind and behavior. Each acquisition is different but maintains some of the same core elements. When it comes to an acquisition, I am motivated to find good partners with a shared vision who see the benefit of partnering with a company like IMA. It’s not always easy, requires patience, rapport, and clear and concise communication. I need to examine personalities, culture, shared goals and the overarching question, “how will this impact our people and their people, especially in today’s high-stress world?”

Incorporating basic psychological principles into an acquisition isn’t just a “feel good” strategy; it is analytical and intentional. Workforce talent is hard to come by these days – it’s essential to consider how to retain valuable workers within the new organization and how to recruit new talent. I reflect on the following questions: What goals do the current and potential workers have, and what concerns? What makes their culture similar to or different from the acquiring entity? When cultures differ, how do we meld the two?

Take Time and Listen

Answering these questions begins with taking time to understand the philosophy of an organization and that of its people. Listen to those who will be joining your team. Educate them on your philosophy and become educated about theirs. Ask and answer questions; simply listen. Then, consider how it will affect their actions and behaviors on the job. After multiple acquisitions, we’re working to continue to improve upon our process and achieve even faster integration.

We are delighted to have CTA join the IMA Group team. It will help us grow and add value, helping us expand to new areas and bring on a more diverse array of trial participants.

Happy New Year! What a great way to start 2023!