Case Study – One DNA
This organisation had recently acquired an emerging competitor within its sector. In addition to an expected drop in productivity and morale, the merging of different cultures, products, values and processes indicated a challenging time ahead.
Whatever the circumstances of a merger through acquisition or joint venture, both companies will immediately feel unsure of their combined values and strategic direction. The dynamic, smaller yet fast-growing business can feel the threat of being stifled by the brand-heritage and traditional approach of its established parent company. The ‘sibling rivalry’ created as a result of a joint venture can provoke obstinacy and a need to control.
Open communication is one of the most important factors cited by executives and employees in the aftermath of a merger or acquisition. DPI was engaged to conduct a series of workshops with three primary aims:
- Immediately assess the current climate and urgent concerns across the two organisations
- Facilitate the creation of common goals for the new integrated organisation
- Improve communication and cultural alignment
The Q&A Solution provided the platform for our client to establish the reality of their current climate. Employees voiced their concerns, opinions and feelings in an open and, at times anonymous, manner. Spontaneous questions between the stage and the floor provoked many critical debates in a positive, inclusive environment.
To establish the common goals across the new integrated organisation a series of workshops were run, supported by the Pelotoning Solution. The demographic mix of each workshop included approx. 40 employees from different levels and disciplines of both companies, working together in small groups. Pelotoning’s unique, award winning proprietary software enabled the workshops’ mindmaps to be aggregated seamlessly into a single mindmap on each key topic. A full report for senior management was generated within 48 hours of each workshop, detailing key recommendations and actions.
The Multi-choice Solution was deployed at various stages throughout the process to establish how effectively the new culture/DNA was being absorbed and understood by employees, or to quickly gauge employee opinion, or feedback, on any integration related issue.
The most important intangible outcome from the whole process was the effect of having informed, reassured, engaged and motivated employees who acted as enablers to the success of the integration process. Involving employees in forming the execution of the Integration Strategy and regularly sharing information and seeking feedback from them was an invaluable practice.
The ability to regularly ‘test the water’ enabled the business to stay on track or swiftly make minor adjustments with minimum disruption.
The most important tangible output from the workshops was a new set of values and goals that everyone had contributed to and shared ownership of. These values and goals provided individuals with a clear sense of direction and purpose from corporate-to-team-to-individual level. In recognising the enablers to success, the client was also able to identify and protect itself from potential threats to their continued success.