At Fishawack Health, we thrive on the strength of our collective talent and expertise. Our ambition is to create a holistic organization based on our combined capabilities and intrinsically designed for collaboration. Our active mergers and acquisitions program means integrating different types of business is key to our success.
Ruth Percival leads our Integration Team. She joined the company in March 2020 with a mission to develop a focused business unit to improve our operational structure and welcome new companies into Fishawack Health. The team has experienced rapid growth, with Antony Stewart joining in September 2020 as Integration Lead, Lynda McClure moving from the creative side of the business to become our Head of Integration, plus 3 additional team members managing key integration or operational workstreams.
Lynda experienced the integration process first-hand during the acquisition of 2e Creative in 2019. She provides unique insight into both the perspective of the acquiring company and the team joining Fishawack Health. She is committed to harmonizing processes and communicating a common understanding informed by a joint conversation. She says, “Only by truly listening instead of preaching, collaborating instead of demanding, and asking questions instead of assuming, can you get to the heart of a challenge, and make a positive impact in any organization.”
Integration is more than uniting platforms
Adopting new systems is a key challenge, so the teams and individuals need to understand the end goal – for the businesses’ benefit and, ultimately, the client’s benefit, including mitigating any roadblocks. “We take a personal approach to systems change,” says Antony. We make sure people are heard, and we seek to understand their objections and address any concerns.” Integration efforts don’t just apply to our newly acquired businesses. The Integration Team has also worked to bring together internal group services teams and build a collaborative space for finance, HR, IT, communications, and leadership teams to help drive our integrated operational structure. “We have rolled out a lot of new systems at a rapid pace,” adds Antony. Yet we’re pleased that our new teams have approached the new tools with an open and positive mindset, despite anticipated teething troubles.”
Both systems change and cultural alignment work in tandem, according to Lynda. “We are aware that our teams are managing competing priorities, but we aim to be good listeners and take an agile approach. Ultimately, we are not individual companies simply functioning as part of a disparate network – we are a pack that is working together.”
Jayne Sykes, Partner at PRMA Consulting, which was acquired in April 2021, echoes this philosophy. “By joining Fishawack Health, we have already given the team access to specialists and talent from across the globe. We are relishing having so much more opportunity,” she says. Her experience mirrors those who were integrated into the business more than 4 years ago. Creative Director, Jon Yuill says: “The integration has been, and continues to be a real revelation. I have friends and colleagues across the Fishawack Health pack and by working together, we can each see a real benefit for ourselves and for our clients.”
“We knit people together who you would never expect to work in 1 team to create solutions,” says Ruth. “There is a genuine curiosity and openness to the expertise of the business and the people. We aim to give people the license to try experimental solutions, which has been very healthy and has enabled relationships to be forged even during the recent challenges of not being able to meet face-to-face.”
Continuous improvement from the grassroots up
The team has set up feedback forums to learn and adapt – to understand success and challenges. “It is important that we learn from the acquired entity and vice versa, it needs to be a joint conversation,” says Lynda. These processes include sessions for all levels of employees – from formal feedback by the senior leadership team, to Integration Pods involving people at the grassroots of the business who can share both problems and solutions among their peers, and aim to inform future integration initiatives.
“Integration is not a top-down enforcement but is a collaborative approach in and of itself. It is a transition process that relies on communication. Our door is always open, and we are committed to working together to achieve common goals. For people who are curious and want to be part of building something dynamic – this is the place to be,” says Ruth.
To find out how our integrated teams can help you solve your healthcare challenge, contact firstname.lastname@example.org