Team meetings are important in order to move forward confidently when it comes to due diligence. Ideally I would want everyone on your team to be physically together, but I understand in today’s environment that may be difficult to schedule, and you’ll have to be creative to maintain team cohesion.
Here are a few suggestions for overcoming this challenge.
1. Tag Your Acquisition Team Meeting Onto Another Meeting
You probably have an executive or quarterly meeting where “all hands are on deck.” Try adding a day or half a day to these company-wide meetings. All the members of your acquisition team will already be present so use their time together to the maximum advantage.
2. Meet in “Clusters”
Try gathering sub-groups of the team that can meet in person. All these clusters can then communicate virtually with other clusters. For example gather all team members in a meeting on the West Coast and do a video conference with everyone on the East Coast. That way you still have some of the value from in-person meetings without accruing costs of travel and time.
3. Use Video Communications
I suggest using visual and audio communications like Skype, WebEx, or GoToMeeting. These platforms allow you to interact visually and share documents and presentations. Video conferencing is one step closer to an in-person meeting than a conference call. People are very visual and a lot of communication happens through nonverbal cues. Any time you can establish visual contact you increase the effectiveness of your meeting.
4. Conference call
Understandably there may be a time when a conference call is your only option. Picking up the phone is a far better option than email. Emails are great but do not count as a meeting. If you can’t find the time for a conference call to meet with your due diligence team, then you may need to reconsider your priorities.
Obviously meeting in person is the best option whenever possible, but with limited time and resources it may not always be viable. Hopefully one or more of these options will help you stay connected with your acquisition team.