People want to feel safe. They are more creative, productive, etc., when they feel safe and are more likely to feel safe in an environment that is, at the very least, consistent. Add the stress of an acquisition (or a pandemic) and an unsafe culture will crumble, leading to talent churn, loss of productivity, and maybe even sabotage (intentional or unintentional). As part of cultural due diligence, it may be important to ask employees on both sides of the deal how safe they feel. An acquirer may have to evaluate their own culture from the standpoint of “is our culture strong enough” to take this on. Likewise, if the employees in a target do not feel safe before they are acquired, or merged, it is highly unlikely they are going to feel safe during integration or after.