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The Art of Failing Fast

Acquiring companies has always been a strategic move for private equity firms to drive growth and maximize returns. However, one of the critical aspects often overlooked in the process is the importance of swiftly reviewing the talent within the newly acquired company. Failing fast in talent assessment can lead to significant advantages and help set a company up for long-term success. In this blog, we will explore why it is vital to fail fast when reviewing talent in an acquired company after a private equity acquisition.

  1. Rapid Talent Assessment Ensures Cultural Fit:

A successful acquisition relies on the seamless integration of the acquiring and target companies, and a crucial aspect of this is the alignment of the organizations' cultures (1). By swiftly evaluating talent, private equity firms can identify employees that share the same values, work ethic, and vision, ensuring a more harmonious integration and reducing potential conflicts.

  1. Minimizing Talent-Related Risks:

After an acquisition, it is essential to identify potential risks related to the target company's workforce. These risks may include skill gaps, employee turnover, or lack of leadership (2). By quickly reviewing talent, private equity firms can address these risks early on and implement strategies to mitigate them, thereby protecting their investment and ensuring the success of the acquisition.

  1. Accelerating Synergy Realization:

One of the main goals of an acquisition is to achieve synergies between the acquiring and target companies. Identifying key talent and allocating the right resources can contribute significantly to realizing these synergies (3). By failing fast in talent assessment, private equity firms can accelerate the integration process, driving value creation and delivering on their growth and return objectives.

  1. Attracting and Retaining Top Talent:

In a competitive market, attracting and retaining top talent is vital for any organization's success. Quickly reviewing talent in an acquired company allows private equity firms to identify high-potential employees and create tailored development plans to retain and grow them (4). By doing so, they can ensure that the target company has a competitive edge in its industry and is set up for long-term success.

  1. Enhancing Organizational Agility:

Failing fast in talent assessment enables private equity firms to be more agile in their decision-making, especially when it comes to staffing and resource allocation (5). By making informed decisions early on, they can quickly adapt to changes in the market or the competitive landscape, ensuring that the acquired company remains agile and responsive to evolving business needs.


The importance of failing fast in reviewing talent after a private equity acquisition cannot be overstated. It ensures a smooth integration, minimizes talent-related risks, accelerates synergy realization, attracts and retains top talent, and enhances organizational agility. By prioritizing talent assessment and making informed decisions early on, private equity firms can set their acquired companies on the path to long-term success.


  1. Denison, D. R., Adkins, B., & Guidroz, A. M. (2010). Organizational culture and merger success. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 46(2), 227-247.
  2. Weber, Y., & Tarba, S. Y. (2012). Mergers and acquisitions process: The use of corporate culture analysis. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 19(3), 288-303.
  3. Angwin, D. N. (2004). Speed in M&A integration: The first 100 days. European Management Journal, 22(4), 418-430.
  4. Cascio, W. F., & Boudreau, J. W. (2016). The search for global competence: From international HR to talent management. Journal ofWorld Business, 51(1), 103-114.
  5. Schweiger, D. M., & Very, P. (2003). Creating value through merger and acquisition integration. Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions, 2, 1-26.