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Congratulations. After what seems like months of negotiation and hard work you have finally agreed on your dream merger or acquisition. Now all that is required is to sign the paperwork, sort out the cash and start reaping the rewards.
Before the champagne corks start popping, just pause a minute. Have you really covered all the bases and in particular have you got your plans in place to manage the cultural integration of the two entities? We’ve seen it so many times. As the legal, financial and systematic due diligence wind through, those who are tasked with this ‘confidential’ work are already jockeying for position in the new organisation. The demarcation lines are drawn before the ink is dry and dissent is already on the rise.
None of this need happen if cultural due diligence takes its place as a key driver of merger success. The earlier the cultural mapping, the sooner the organisations can set to and design a cultural integration plan. And this shouldn’t just reflect the culture of one or other of the organisations. There is a reason why mergers or acquisitions happen and that is to create something new or improved. So when the new cultural ideal is mapped, when vision and values are translated into beliefs and behaviours, take the chance to create something new, a fresh culture which is better than the sum of its parts