Workday Podcast: Transformative Events and Navigating Change

Kevin McDonald has guided media conglomerate The E.W. Scripps Company through more than 20 transformative events. In this episode, he shares lessons learned and practical tips for navigating mergers, IPOs, and more.

Audio also available on Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

Mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, IPOs—these events all have something in common: Companies that go through them often end up looking different than before. That explains why they’re often referred to as “transformative events.” On this episode of the Workday Podcast, Kevin McDonald, vice president of people services and insights at The E.W. Scripps Company, shared a plethora of practical lessons he’s learned from the many transformative events he’s been involved in. 

Here are a few highlights of our conversation, edited for clarity. Be sure to follow us wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts, and remember you can find our entire podcast catalog here.  

  • “As we go into due diligence, another key to success is keeping an eye always toward integration. Who’s providing their services today? What type of contracts are in place for HR, for employees? What type of technology’s being used? What does that mean in terms of being able to get data from them regularly?”

  • “The same thing that makes you successful in any big project are the things that are going to make you successful [in a transformative event]. Early involvement is really key, and discipline to a process. It’s important to make sure leaders have input on processes and have their voice heard in terms of the unique challenges it’s going to create for their area, and have everyone come together and agree, so you don’t have HR working in a silo from IT and from finance.” 

  • “Workday’s played an absolutely critical role in the success of our most recent acquisition. Having integrated HR, payroll, and financials really makes the M&A integration efforts easier. But more importantly to me, it eliminates the risk of data being out of sync across different systems.” 

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