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M&A culture: Why business culture is important to M&A

We help you achieve the right culture for your combined business post deal because the right culture is essential to  a deal’s success. 

Achieving a good cultural fit between businesses is crucial to an M&A transaction’s success. Indeed, a poor fit is a common cause for a deal’s failure.

Whether you are a target or an acquirer, Willis Towers Watson works with you to define and develop the attributes that will best support your deal’s objectives. We will apply a structured approach — and our tried and tested proprietary tools — to help you understand key cultural issues and identify practical responses to the challenges and opportunities they present.

How we can help you gain advantage 

We will start by looking at your deal’s objectives, where you see the value being created and where you want to be post-deal. Then we will develop a cultural integration road map to help you get there. We will provide advice, tools and practical assistance to: 

  • Assess the important cultural characteristics in each organization
  • Manage cultural differences and similarities between organizations that might either help or hinder value creation
  • Identify the kind of culture you want once the deal is complete
  • Build and execute a change plan that supports integration by leveraging cultural strengths and addressing misalignments

Our services 

Developing a culture change strategy

Our experts will work with you to develop a detailed change strategy that addresses the challenges and opportunities of cultural integration. They will also help you embed the capabilities you will need to support delivery of deal goals. In doing so, we will advise you on how to engage with leaders, managers and teams — and how to help them understand how their behaviors matter.

Culture assessment tools

Our assessment tools will help you define your existing cultures and identify where you need to change. 

  • Culture cross-match: we will survey leaders or employees and ask them to rate up to 14 research-based attributes to define the current cultural personality of the businesses involved in the transaction. This diagnostic tool will help define key areas of alignment and difference, and provide the basis for building comprehensive action plans to support integration.
  • Culture alignment tool: this tool provides a research-based structured approach to defining the key attributes of your target culture based on the capabilities needed for high performance, and identifies what you need to change to achieve your deal objectives.
  • Merger monitor: this organization-wide survey tool measures employee sentiment as it relates to the deal. Regular pulse surveys after the transaction will also check how the business culture is developing. We will help you benchmark performance against other leading businesses and identify any changes needed to stay on track. 

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