To add to Renata’s point about selling the value of the culture – making sure there’s a shared definition of the culture seems paramount. When I think about Jenny’s description of “tech start up” culture, to me that means the following:
* Quick decision making
* Informal / minimal processes
* General lack of hierarchy – empowerment to make decisions is distributed
* Attention to work/life balance, promoting flexibility over hard start/stop times
None of these is inherently good or bad, *but* if there is a clash in the acquirer’s culture on one or more of these points, it’s going to make for a much more challenging integration. Some of them may also be more “core” to the target company (i.e. adapting to additional processes within reason is more acceptable than giving up distributed decision making).
I’d also be interested to hear whether “tech start up” means something similar or fairly different from what I’ve suggested above…