Bridging the cultural divide: Quantitatively assessing the 'softer side' of integration

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Bridging the cultural divideStudies have shown that more than 50% of acquisitions fail to achieve the desired outcomes because of cultural clash or misalignment, yet culture is often the one area focused on least during due diligence and the transition. The most common reason is the perceived difficulty in dealing with “soft stuff.” Yet, as Larry Bossidy, a well-known businessman and author, says, “At the end of the day you bet on people, not strategies.” Thus, it would be remiss to ignore culture in a transaction. The fact is that cultural alignment can be objectively assessed, as this article will explain.

Culture in integration A typical integration relies on functional and business integration teams to address virtually every function of a target’s organization, and how these functions will be integrated. A culture team should also be established with a defined charter, or scope of work. Most integration teams compare and contrast policies, practices and procedures between the two organizations. The culture team is no different.

Contacts Edward Kleinguetl
Partner, Transaction Services
T +1 832 476 3760

Jennifer Morelli
Senior Manager, Organizational
Change Management
T +1 215 701 8899

Jessica Ruane
Senior Associate, Organizational
Change Management
T +1 215 531 8602