Article

The new wave of culture

Mergers & Acquisitions - Why integration strategy matters

September 14, 2018

By Max Wright and David Hunt

Acquisitions today are increasingly complex as companies look to transform through globalization, digitalization and choosing between a horizontal and vertical segmentation strategy. Regardless of the reason buyers acquire a business, talent acquisition and retention have gained increased recognition as contributors to a successful transaction. As such, the role of culture in building the new company is becoming a focus. While most companies have paid lip service to the statement “culture matters,” sophisticated, informed buyers are placing a heightened emphasis on culture earlier in the deal. They’re making it central to the integration strategy and seeing concerted attention by leadership.

In fact, leaders have started to think about culture in operational terms — moving beyond the belief that it’s simply a soft concept, to one that defines how a company operates, interacts with customers and defines expectations for the day-to-day behaviors of its employees. Defining culture in business terms and integration risks has changed the very nature of the conversation about why culture matters.

In this article, published in the September 2018 issue of Workspan magazine, Max Wright and David Hunt share the actions companies can take at each phase of a deal to assess culture and consider how it will be factored into the integration strategy. The article is reproduced here with the permission of WorldatWork.