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The Culture Barrier - Can it be Broken?


We love that there are more articles on culture and integration issues published by the major consulting firms. That’s progress. This is an interesting piece from BCG who was writing about conscious business behavior long before it was in the popular press.


In this article we would emphasize and highlight the alignment of core values, which is often a big issue for middle market companies when looking for a merger partner.  It speaks to the character of an organization and is a better predictor of how a suitor will behave once the dating process is over and reality sets in. The important thing is to assess the general level of organizational consciousness. Barrett Values Centre puts this into focus with their seven levels of evolutionary development. To over simplify, if one party is serving a larger corporate purpose (Google: organizing the worlds’ information and making it available to everyone) and the other party is focused on admirable traits (organization effectiveness and efficiency), but ones that are internal and not external, those two organization are bound to make different decisions and create conflict.

Bringing this assessment of cultural fit into the M&A dialog and then the integration process is critical if you want to improve the chances of long-term success.