Merging company cultures: 4 tips

When considering mergers and acquisitions, organizations spend the bulk of their time thinking about the the effects of the potential transaction on their bottom line, but cultural compatibility is just as important a determinant of success, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Here are four pre-merger steps organizational leaders can take to ensure cultural harmony:

1. Prepare to negotiate culture. In addition to negotiating the financial terms of the deal, organizations should perform cultural assessments and prepare to negotiate how they can accommodate their respective needs.

2. Construct a prenup. Organizations should develop a cultural integration plan for how the new entity will operate, and which aspects of each organization's respective culture will be included.

3. Get buy-in. Employees should be told why changes will be implemented. Leaders must be able to demonstrate the new values of their organization.

4. Embrace trial and error. Leaders should be open to re-evaluating the integration strategy if it does not seem to be going well and consider employee feedback  to craft a balanced plan.

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