Hi, wondering if anybody has used a culture coach to help in the change management, especially in cross border acquisitions? And what your experience has been – has it made a positive difference?
Yes, this solution can make a positive difference. I was engaged in acquisition of a Polish company by a French company and external consultants that referred differences between both of these cultures were engaged. This was one of the most important parts of process integration.
I think understanding of culture differences is a crucial part of post-merger integrations. I read a nice book about this challenge –“Riding the waves of culture”, I highly recommend it.
Jenny, you pose a very good question. Mateusz’s response and experience support the importance of using a culture coach/consultant. With many cross-border acquisitions occurring, the different national cultures and language add another complex layer to the integration process. Having a culture coach that understands how to properly communicate between the companies and their locations can go a long way toward reducing or eliminating “bad blood” in a target company. They can also make sure the messages the acquirer sends out to internal and external stakeholders are translated correctly. Minor differences in dialect could be received in error and be offensive if not handled correctly.
Using a Culture coach is a must if your merger and acquisition goes across borders like in China or into Asean countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. We used once a Culture Coach when we have dealing with a company in China. The Culture coach will spell out all the norms and the way the Chinese management team think and behave. It contributed to the successful merger of a Chinese company in China. Although the culture is different, we are able to understand them better.
The use of a culture coach can really make a difference as said before. Even if it is a merger of two companies in neighboring countries! Often people think that they know about the culture of the other country but when it comes down to special areas such as working culture it is helpful to point out differences.
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