A Clash of Cultures Can Doom a Merger

Are you suffering from failure to integrate?

A sophisticated understanding of the past is a powerful tool for shaping the future. One of the most critical areas where this is borne out is in the merging of corporate cultures after an acquisition.

Off and on since the 1990s, foodservice distribution has gone through significant spates of mergers and acquisitions. When two cultures – in most cases, former competitors – suddenly have to blend together, a heritage-based narrative that defines who you are, what you stand for, how you got here and what makes you unique helps facilitate understanding and integration on both sides of the aisle. Such a narrative also provides “acquired” managers and employees with critical orientation and communications messages to share with jittery customers during the transition to new ownership.

Bottom line: A published corporate history is not only a “nice to have” to commemorate a significant anniversary or milestone. It is a “need to have” for leaders to instill in employees a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves and in customers a sense of connection and confidence. Communicating culture through a corporate history helps all parties impacted by a merger understand not just “how things are done around here,” but the heritage, vision and values of the organizations involved.

A living statement of a firm’s corporate culture can only come from its story. We can help you tell yours.

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