Subscribe to our newsletters

3 Reasons Why Aon Hewitt’s Acquisition of Modern Survey Is a Big Deal

Chalk one up for the good guys.

At around 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 8, it was announced that Aon Hewitt had acquired Modern Survey. I was on the phone with Don MacPherson (president and co-founder of Modern Survey) talking about the acquisition just minutes ahead of the formal announcement.

First of all, let’s focus on what’s important here. Don was calling from the hospital because he and his partner are going to have a baby any day now. He was beaming. So congratulations, Don, on the stuff that really matters! I’ve known Don for a long time and he’s one of those guys who you just know is going to be a good dad.

Now back to business.

This acquisition will have at least three major impacts (or see my full take on the acquisition in this short video):

  1. It’s a major step for large consulting firms that are trying to extend their breadth and depth of services around employee engagement. Historically, these firms have not been strong in technology, and their approach (which is largely based on annual surveys and loads of consulting) is starting to show signs of age.
  1. It’s also a major step for the engagement category. Inevitably, engagement measurement will fall in with other engagement technology categories like recognition, wellness, and casual learning to form a super-duper engagement platform. It’s how market segments develop (starting with point solutions, migrating to categories, and ending up as platforms).
  1. Finally, this acquisition will catalyze other acquisitions in the segment — and not just engagement measurement and analytics companies. Something big is happening out there with engagement, and this acquisition is just one of many in 2016 that will have a significant impact on the future of the engagement technology segment.

I love seeing good guys win. Don, Patrick, and Dan over at Modern Survey are as good as they come. This is a great outcome for a great group of people. And I firmly believe that the broader impact on the engagement category will not be understood for at least a year or more (it’s kind of a big deal).


Disclosure: Neither Modern Survey nor Aon Hewitt are currently clients of The Starr Conspiracy.