Last week, I discussed how during a merger and acquisition process, it’s important not to just try to create a new culture for the sake of culture or any of the soft definitions of culture. It’s more about creating a culture of competence that is targeted at aligning organizational focus, capability, systems, and processes to develop and enable the unique and differentiated value desired as a result of the merger or acquisition.
Building a culture of competence depends on how well the business can answer and orient itself around the following questions:
- What unique value is being created as a result of the M&A? Why is this value enhanced by the combination of these two firms?
- How well are we currently integrating these unique value drivers into our strategic and operating plans?
- What must be done to better integrate these strengths into how we manage and operate the business?
- Why are these competencies valued by the marketplace? How can we enhance the value that is being created in the marketplace?
- What barriers exist within the current businesses that will inhibit our ability to fully develop and realize this value?
What aspects of the culture must we keep/enhance, eliminate, and create to ensure that the ways we work allow the integrated firm to organize itself in support of these unique value drivers and create a culture of competence?
Aligning leaders and the broader organization on the answers to these questions is of course only the first step in gaining clarity on the expected outcome for how you will then move forward in building a culture of competence. While this is really just the beginning of the process for creating a plan that will deliver the results you want to see, it’s an important step you can’t afford to ignore.