In one of my recent coaching it turned out that some of the issues in the company evolved from the earlier merger of companies and how the old culture affected at times negatively the work of the leaders that came with the acquired company. They felt also being separate from the rest of the company. I read a blog today about the importance, and clear lack, of cultural due diligence prior to mergers. The writer of the blog suggested that as a requirement for the merger, you need to ensure that the cultures match.
To certain extent this is true, you need to do your due diligence also on cultural matters, see where the differences are and make sure that the two companies share the common goal and core values moving forward. At the same time you need to ensure that the people of the acquired company are introduced to others and thereafter, that the new, common culture is developed together. Communication in this needs to be effective so that the message and people are heard and understood. And most importantly, that the goals, values and work culture are shared by all.
I think it is a mistake to think that the company culture is what it is, that it is stronger than the agreed, set strategies. The company and its culture must evolve with its people by taking into account the needs of the employees, customers and the environment. The company, its strategy and work culture need to be developed. The agreed goals and processes need to be feasible. What worked before will not necessarily work today or in the future. Therefore you must be ready for the changes with the right attitude, strong values and clear roles and responsibilities, and open to new ways of working.
In the coaching session I mentioned above, it was said what a pity it is that the work on the company culture was not done when the companies were merged and that the people were not introduced. So, it was not done and thereafter things got busy but, I asked, is there a reason why you would not start doing it today. By introducing yourself and your work processes and why they are important and by also otherwise increasing communication to gain clarity and better co-operation. This work will not be finished. The fact that there will be new recruitments, people will be more self driven and will be taking more responsibility on their work will ensure the need for it.