Merging Cultures

The Client:

Our clients, a local corporation had merged with another local entity to expand their customer base and geographic reach.

The Challenge:

The merger resulted in a number of challenges for the new entity. The biggest stumbling block was two intrinsically different cultures hindering downstream integration. Senior leaders were expected to deliver on their business targets despite the M&A undercurrents.

The Solution:

Our premise:

Steering respective entities away from the notion of competing cultures and focusing their attention on the desired culture will result in a common vocabulary to drive effective integration.

What we did:

Tier 1: Mapping the existing culture of the two entities

  • Undertook a leadership and culture assessment using interviews and culture tools (Tool used ‘Organisation Culture Inventory’).
  • Appraised senior leaders of cultural differences and similarities.
  • Built consensus on distinct challenges confronting senior leaders.

Tier 2: Crystallising the desired culture of the new entity

  • Conducted a workshop for senior leadership of the two entities.
  • Crystallised the ‘to be’culture using culture tool (Organisation Culture Inventory).
  • Concurred on a positive change strategy for building new culture.
  • Agreed on alignment of various organisational levers such as structure, process, people, systems and technology.

Tier 3: Building confidence to move forward

  • Designed and facilitated a leadership summit involving all employees in supervisory positions.
  • Shared the vision of the desired culture.
  • Facilitated a dialogue where senior leaders addressed the rational and emotional concerns to achieve the desired culture.
  • Shared case studies and best practice OD models to help leaders better respond to complex change-related issues.

The Result:

  • The cultural integration helped pave the way to smoother downstream integration.
  • Employees felt more positive about the merger.
  • Leaders were confident about their ability to manage change-related issues and handle emotional reactions from subordinates.