January 30, 2022 at 6:17 pm #55489Kim MorrisonParticipant
I believe that People and Culture are the two biggest reasons why an integration fails. Taking the time to respect versus conquer an acquired company, its people and processes can only help with the adoption of the newco’s processes. When you understand the unspoken why’s of processes and or behaviours you have context. That context gives you a place to build from and leverage similarities and why the process will be done differently (or not) going forward. At the foundation of this deal, the company was acquired because it was (presumably) successful in their space. That success needs to be respected and the people are a major part of that success. This is the basis for the partnership. Though the entities may be of differing size and power, they have built something worthy of respect.February 9, 2022 at 11:00 am #56132Dalilah A. (Grad.ICSA)Participant
I agree with you as employees on both sides would want to feel more powerful, thus causing stress and miscommunication. Power struggle.February 21, 2022 at 8:35 am #56405Sultan FataniParticipant
That is indeed a very crucial element of a successful “marriage” of equals, even complementing ones!February 22, 2022 at 12:01 am #56426Amanda BroosParticipant
I agree with this, and have not had an experience when this was done well. If culture is know to be such a critical success factor, why is it not standard practice to conduct a formal culture audit in due diligence. I think the challenge is that most acquirers (most businesses for that matter) have a loose handle on the attributes of their own culture, which makes it difficult to understand if a targets culture is compatible.March 28, 2022 at 3:39 am #57899Michele LearnParticipant
Completely agree, a balanced approach is best.March 29, 2022 at 3:51 pm #58044Ian SmithParticipant
A very good post. I have created a similar one with regards specifically to culture being a critical success factor. My example is similar where two companies have come together because they complement each other’s expertise.
This was a white collar and blue collar organisation – cultural differences were evident and these were overcome by sharing each other’s feedback and realising this was consistent from our clients also (noticeable cultural difference). Excelling in delivering client value was the point of the merger, and so, ensuring the culture’s merged for the better was key to the success of this M&A in particular.March 29, 2022 at 11:53 pm #58054Sharon HoodParticipant
I completely agree! I think it’s important to involve all parties in the process so they feel ownership and invested in the future state of the business.April 5, 2022 at 5:31 pm #58216Michael FortunatoParticipant
It seems that this is a good area for training and coaching within the acquiring company. I could see this becoming a CM effort on its own prior to the actual closing that could be led by HR, AND performance tracked within the standard performance management processes within the organization. In other words, each employee would have a performance goal to attend training and then to demonstrate the desired behaviors toward their peers in the new company. Just a thought…April 7, 2022 at 9:30 pm #58283starla PughParticipant
Does anyone have examples of how they did a formal culture audit in due diligence? I seem to struggle with finding actual tools and ways to go about this, but constantly hear you should do it. Looking for a good tool.April 10, 2022 at 8:11 pm #58355Jeremiah McFerrinParticipant
Absolutely makes sense, unfortunately seems to fall lower on the priority list, usually to financial results.May 8, 2022 at 2:16 pm #59087Laura SimsParticipant
I agree in most acquisitions, regardless of the effort put forth to ensure a smooth cultural transition, we continue to have opportunity. I agree Michael Fortunato, implementing some training on the front end and even having goals associated with acquisition leadership behaviors being promoted would be one way to approach. I would even consider a survey perhaps of key personnel being acquired and retained as a feedback loop to measure overall growth and/or ongoing opportunities in this area.May 11, 2022 at 1:48 pm #59180Bonnie SahniParticipant
100% agree. The acquirer will get so much more if they respected the people and culture.May 14, 2022 at 12:22 pm #59265Ruth NgParticipant
I can’t agree more but it’s not an easy task when comes to the ground. In reality, it’s a competition between the two heads (Acquirer vs Target) with the same function. The uncertainty during the process makes the key personnels nervous. The ture talents may not want to go through this painful process and may just jump off the boat unless a good package and job security are offered. Otherwise, why bother?May 17, 2022 at 6:56 pm #59431Cody EberhardtParticipant
I completely agree. Another item I would like to add and this goes for HR but other areas as well, don’t assume that the way your company does something or has a policy that it is the correct way. Anywhere there are differences you should be analyzing and reviewing to see who’s should change. You are purchasing that company for a reason, take a few extra moments to look at what they are doing well and adopt those if possible.May 19, 2022 at 8:13 am #59461Charanjit SodiParticipant
Agree!! It is important to understand the culture and rise issues where there are no go.
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