We are dealing with the “merge survivors”.
- Company culture
They say that company culture is one of the main causes for a merger to fail. As human beings we tend to resist the change, and the creation of a new culture requires a huge effort by all the involved parts.
To integrate two companies, the management should always assess the culture picture and prepare a serious planning, involving:
- interviewing both the companies employees;
- try to keep the best of the two worlds (in terms of workforce, processes, values, tools).
The CEO must manifest himself not only through the occasional e-mail. As we said before, a merge can be a trauma and people tend to feel lost. How much they can keep their old ways? How much they should prove their value? How are they supposed to do so, without creating a bad environment? These things are for the CEO to assess – at least on a formal level.
- Engage people
People are always the key. And try to walk in their shoes: they may keep a job, but they are at risk of losing their place in the system. Their ways could become obsolete. They are under a huge pressure. Create mixed group of work, in order to make it easier for people to stop and perceive a threat from the novelties. They should feel in charge of them. Their capabilities should always be recognised by the new company.
How do YOU deal with a merge? Try to be as cool and smart as possible. It’s next to impossible not lose sight of the real objectives, but take your time, every day, to assess them. The internal competition in a merger can be really tough, and you don’t want to end up caught in a spiral. As much pressure you’ll feel, try to focus and play ahead of the game.