Building Capacity, Facilitating Improvements

At MAON, helping our clients ask the right questions is the single most important aspect of our value proposition. In today’s fast-paced, short-term oriented business climate, too many organisations jump headfirst into solutions, strategies, and plans, often without having probed deeply or deftly enough to develop a comprehensive picture of what the challenges really are — or what the desired state really is, for that matter – and whether they have the capacity for the change – or how ready they are for the challenge and/or opportunity, now and in future.

For organisations seeking help in understanding their current state and opportunities for improvement, the marketplace simply does not offer a means to buy unbiased “analysis” without further obligation to a particular solution.

MAON has responded to this need by offering clients and partners a suite of Capacity Building Diagnostic Tools & Services, developed from expertise, practice and research, and priced to be accessible to even the most cost-conscious organisations.

The tools help leaders and managers rapidly and accurately diagnose individual and organisational capacity / capability / readiness or fitness, and drive forward the improvements they need to make to deliver the best outcomes and services for their clients and stakeholders.

We offer a diagnostic service that:

  • Help organisations diagnose their capacity against their change and improvement plans.
  • Help organisations diagnose their capacity against the implementation of new policies.
  • Help organisations to de-clutter and align initiatives and interventions.
  • Help build an investment strategy; and evaluation of those interventions and initiatives.

Integrating People, Managing Differences: A Process Tool for Mergers & Acquisitions; and Strategic Partnerships

One plus one, does not equal one when it comes to integrating culture and people.

Studies by Watson Wyatt and the Vector Group indicate that only 15% to 25% of acquisitions and mergers live up to expectations. 25% to 30% are reported to be outright failures within 3 to 5 years of acquisition and the remaining 45% to 60% destroy shareholder value.


Integr8 is a self-help tool which supports and enables the integration of activities and newly acquired businesses investigating, assessing and defining the cultures of two or more distinct business units through a cultural assessment to discover areas of similarity and difference that could negatively affect integration and strategic objectives. The process is designed to be combined with business transformation and organisational change processes in the case of M&A or the formation of partnerships.


Integr8 won’t fix an organisation that is pursuing the wrong people integration strategy. What it can do is cut down on cost, waste, unproductive practices, internal politics, lack of trust, resentment and bad management that might sink the right strategy. To support the users of the tool, MAON has a train-the-trainer programme and a methodology for the application of the tool.

Like any assessment, Integr8 is only as good as what you do with it, but we think the efforts involved are well worth it.


The Integr8 tool should be used during the due diligence phase or soon after the merger or formation of the partnership to inform strategic and human performance decisions. Following acquisition, merger or partnership, the tool is best used over defined time periods. This enables variance, and tolerance to be compared with the operational integration plans. Importantly Integr8 is applied using a risk lens and is therefore underpinned by a risk-based framework and it takes cultural synergies seriously.

The tool can also be used as a benchmarking tool throughout the integration effort to measure progress and confirm whether people are being correctly aligned to business objectives.

The Cultural Chart, an output of the application of the tool helps decision-makers and managers to identify the best approach to cultural integration and going forward, to create measurable action plans.


To support the users of the tool, MAON has a train-the-trainer programme and a methodology for the application of the tool. In addition to help the users of the tool familiarise themselves with Integr8, our training also boosts the trainers' ability, confidence and motivation to deliver Integr8 training effectively.


The results provide the foundational insight for creating integration plans that address how differences are managed and how cultural complexities can be broken down. It also provides a baseline for measuring organisational progress with the integration over time. The output encourages engagement and facilitates the alignment of the organisation/partnership to hep the organisation/partnership to achieve its realistic people integration objectives.

By identifying the people issues at the due diligence stage, companies are able to achieve a much swifter and effective integration, therefore having a stronger foundation to work from when executing the integration of other operations. This is critical for creating more value for shareholders.

For more information, please call MAON on 01908 847064.