Talent Analytics CEO Greta Roberts tackles a major M&A challenge this week in her Harvard Business Review Blog entry by suggesting ways corporate culture misalignment can be minimized during post merger integration. She argues:
During a merger, culture is too important to be left as a soft or vague concept. This concept of speed is only one of many specific, measurable aspects of culture that constitute a specific company, team or individual. With a better understanding of human personality, merging businesses can begin to crack the code of culture.
Greta offers 7 pragmatic tips to pre-empt speed related collaboration issues:
1. Accept that speed preferences and requirements do exist, at company, team, and individual levels.
2. Realize that individual executives will differ in their speed profiles as well, which can easily drive high-level divisions in the way that a merger or initiative is imagined and executed.
3. Study an acquisition target to gain an understanding of the company’s natural pacing as compared to your own.
4. Match merger strategy to the speed profile of the teams at hand. Perhaps sales would need to merge quickly, and engineering would need to merge more methodically.
5. Create internal merger communication strategies that match the speed profile of the teams at hand.
6. Educate leaders about the different pacing needs within their organizations.
7. Elevate discussions around speed and pacing to employees and teams, understanding the value and the need for both styles.