Cultural Assessment Tools

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    Peggie Chan

    In a previous integration, we worked with an external consultant who conducted a detailed Cultural Assessment to support the integration. I’m interested in your recommendations for other Cultural Assessment Tools to support smaller integrations with smaller budgets. Thank you!

    Andy Aguiluz

    Great topic, Peggie! Interestingly, I’ve found that cultural assessment tools have huge pros and cons themselves. While there is great benefit in understanding culture (and a piece many companies overlook or deprioritize), people can have a negative reaction to being assessed (specially personality and style) and these can create blindspots. It seems like we’ve made progress in recognizing that there’s a human element to take into consideration in m&as, but not sure what the best way to set both companies up for success might be without “categorizing/boxing” their people.

    Helen Mitchell

    Deloitte provide a fantastic service and tool. Do check out their services.

    Eric Kunitake

    Back in grad school, we were introduced to these folks: We all took the assessment and were pleasantly surprised with the results. Potential uses may include having key stakeholders take the assessment to better understand the best way to communicate details or gain support for critical decisions. Group assessments are also available. Payment options and much more are available on their website.

    Rachael Bewley

    I’m curious to hear of anyone who has experience leveraging one of these tools and how they assessed and implemented the results in their integration strategy.

    Max Eager

    Having the right tools when conducting the cultural assessment during M&A integrations, regardless of size, is essential. Here are three that I can recommend:

    1. Hofstede Insights Cultural Navigator: This tool is based on Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory. It allows a detailed comparison of deep-level values between two or more cultures.

    2. Culture Amp: This is an excellent platform that simplifies the collection, understanding, and actioning of employee feedback to better align with the merging cultures, which can be particularly helpful in M&A situations.

    3. The GlobeSmart Profile: This is a web tool that helps you quickly understand how your cultural preferences, and the preferences of others, align with work-related behaviors.

    Leah Roderick

    Great tools Max, thanks for sharing! A thorough, yet balanced cultural assessment is key to successful acquisitions, since without cultural synergy a deal does not really make sense financially or strategically.


    PWC has a great cultural assessment tool, as well.


    There are a lot of great cultural assessment tools – I think the trouble is that they are often used blindly and rely quite a lot on self report (which is the same problem a lot of social psychology is facing). I think the key with any tool is to take some time to validate the results through focus groups for example. The reality is that culture is a hard to measure thing that is constantly moving and shifting. The only real way to assess it is to measure it as best you can over and over and again but keeping your attention on the pulse of the org.

    I have seen many culture assessments that are well done, then lead into action that does not really address what the assessment said and/or the underlying issue it’s meant to address.


    I think the stat is misleading and I agree with everyone that there is a lot you can do to mitigate this – from retention plans to engagement plans etc. To be honest, I didn’t even see it stated in the article why the employees left – I’m hoping it was controlled for involuntary leaving 🙂

    I will also state because I think it’s not stated enough – when you purchase a company, you are creating a situation of uncertainty no matter what you do, whatever the situation was before, it will be a different situation in the future. Some people leave because the company isn’t what they want anymore, some people leave because they are worried about job security so take another more stable role, some leave because they didn’t like their job anyways and don’t want to bother with going through the pains associated with a change. Each has an effort that can mitigate it but we must accept that there will be a certain amount of upheaval and expect this.

    It reminds me of a leader who once asked me how he could downsize the workforce, but without any impact on engagement – you can’t, just as you can’t retain everyone in a merger – just as you can’t retain everyone in normal times either

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