Editor’s Note: This is part two of a two-part post by Larry Senn. Part one was posted on Feb. 23rd.
Successful mergers and acquisitions must be based primarily on strategic, financial and other objective criteria, but leaders should not lose sight of understanding and heading off the potential clash of cultures that can lead to financial failure. Far too often, cultural and leadership style differences are not considered seriously enough or systematically addressed.
A great deal of evidence indicates that the ultimate success of mergers and the amount of time it takes to get them on track is determined by how well the cultural aspects of the transition are managed. Yet executives generally spend quite a bit less of their time focused on this than other aspects of the deal.
Editor’s Note: This is part one from a two part post by Larry Senn. Part two will post on Feb. 25th.
Every day in the news lately you read about the latest mergers: airlines, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, large retailers like Staples and Office Depot, all consolidating for so many business reasons. Some are successful and create flourishing companies that benefit stockholders and employee’s careers. But here’s the really scary reality: It’s been well documented over many years that up to one third of mergers fail within five years, and as many as 80 percent never live up to their full potential. The main reason for this is what has been called ‘cultural clash’.
Every company, department or team needs a leader. Leaders set the tone for the organization’s culture. It is a proven fact. Can you have a successful company without a CEO? Do football team captains play a major role in a winning season? Does a cruise ship need a captain to reach its destination safely? A focus on leaders is the natural design of how we operate as a society. So what education/training should be offered to develop the leaders, the influencers needed to grow your company, establish your branded culture, and obtain your business revenue goals of tomorrow?
Let’s focus on one of several key attributes a leader should possess: the ability to communicate effectively.
With all the research and literature on employee engagement, it’s amazing that so many companies still get it wrong.
Employee engagement can’t be an afterthought anymore. It has clear and measurable impacts on your company’s bottom-line. Companies spend obscene amounts of money trying to measure engagement and “move the needle,” without any real long term results.
That’s simply because they’re doing it wrong.
An extra bonus check or pizza party won’t really make much of a difference if the core issues are never fully addressed. Companies would be wise to focus on these (free) intrinsic motivators.
Just as every person has a personality, every single organization on the planet already has a culture. But what people really mean when they say they want to embed culture at work is that they want to create a positive culture. One that, combined with the people and the products or services that are sold, makes for an entity that is bigger, stronger and more impactful than the sum of its parts. In my view, the route to achieving this elusive mix and cultivating it into whatever shape it may turn out to be, is best served by an ethos that supports and nurtures a concept that is an almost universal goal – happiness.