Mergers and Acquisitions: Don’t forget culture

A few years ago I was working for a large company that was bought by another large company. When a merger or acquisition happens, the first thing most people do is have a quiet panic attack about their job security. But once that panic attack is over and you find that you still have a job you are left with the work of actually combining two companies. People often write about this challenge from a strategy, financial, or technical perspective. They also often write about the erosion of value that occurs after a merger or acquisition. Less often they write about the work of combining two cultures which is the cause of much of that lost value.

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How to change your team culture

One of the topics we get asked about most often is how to change the culture on a team. We are rarely in a position to start building a culture from scratch, and are often trying to adjust our team culture to fit a new strategy or a changing business environment. Once you’ve determined how you want to evolve your team culture here are 3 critical factors for your success:

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Bad company cultures don’t exist

After reading the title of this post, most people are probably thinking of all of the places they worked where they were unhappy, and disagreeing with me. Our instinct is to label what we don’t like as bad and what we do like as good. But there is a more nuanced framework for evaluating your company culture that will lead to better decisions for your future. We believe there are two important questions to ask when reflecting on your workplace culture.

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Company Culture Defined

Company culture surrounds us every day when we go to work. For that reason it can be hard to define precisely. We have a sense of its importance to the way we operate at work, but we can’t point to any one thing and say “this is our company culture.” If we can’t define it, how can we manage it and fully understand its importance?

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