Culture is important in all deal types but particularly when you bring two large groups of people together. Then, the potential friction would be much more visible. And you need to understand the culture of both companies. It is not enough to say, is the target company compatible with us? You need to understand it in a more nuanced way. What are their ways of working? What makes them successful? You need to do the same for the acquiring company. One-sided data is not so useful; you do a like-to-like comparison.
Based on that, you can then determine which elements you want to protect and nurture from either company. What is the deal rationale and which are the cultural elements [that] are most important to achieving it? If you are in a revenue-focused deal and don’t care about capturing cost synergies, for example, then trying to improve operational discipline may not be as important as the customer focus.
Author: Becky Kaetzler
Source: McKinsey Quarterly
Subject: Mergers & Acquisitions