Step 6: Develop M&A Culture Integration Plans

You can’t keep everyone happy when it comes to culture change in a merger. So, here’s the deal. Don’t get scattered trying to address all the cultural preference items people make noise about. And don’t tiptoe around the delicate culture issues if they’re crucial and need to be hit head-on. Focus sharply on what’s mission critical.

Ordinarily, only about 5 percent of the cultural issues truly qualify as mission critical. What does that mean? This small handful of traits accounts for about 95 percent of culture’s influence on operating performance. These are the “vital few.” The cultural matters that remain are more or less noise, the “trivial many.” And it’s a mistake for the organization to get distracted by these lightweight issues. Why? Because this remaining 95 percent that’s basically noise will soak up people’s attention, yet account for only 5 percent of culture’s overall impact on business results.

In this section, we offer research that offers important clues for cracking the code on culture in M&A. Plus, we provide tools that identify the few, meaningful cultural differences that should be be addressed in a culture integration plan.

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Culture Mapping Exercise

3-page assessment that calculates the degree of cultural differences in key areas

What Do People Like about the Operating Style Analysis?

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Corporate Culture Research Paper
Over 130 executives participated in this PRITCHETT M&A study on culture due diligence.
Corporate Culture and M&A
The impact of M&A on culture and the challenge of culture change.
Danger of Strategy Culture Disconnect
Strategy is forward-oriented. Culture, on the other hand, is essentially the product of your history