WHY THE NEED?

At one point culture was seen as one of the major aspects of strategy. Then it became ‘the’ major aspect. Now Culture is Strategy.

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast" - Peter Drucker

Products, services, your distribution channels, can be copied. Not easily, but eventually.

The only real strategic edge you have is culture.

But what happens when “cultures” meet, such as the typical tension between Sales and Production, or Long Term Planning vs. Short Term Profitability. Or in the extreme, the merger of two different companies, or even national cultures.

Inevitably, there are clashes and tensions, which if not anticipated or dealt with can literally cost you a fortune and kill the human spirit.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T?

Without an awareness of the typical patterns of behaviour that occur when cultures meet, your chances of building an even stronger and robust culture (a culture greater than the sum of its two parts) are very limited.

The energy goes into people protecting their culture rather than seeing the productive possibilities in the other.

Even worse it detracts from the energy required externally to match your organisation’s capabilities with the opportunities and needs of the marketplace.

Before you know it, an “organisational” merger becomes very personal as does people’s behaviour. Because they are not aware of the predictable systemic patterns of behaviour that occur when cultures meet, destructive conflicts occur with entrenched “us” and “them” thinking can be difficult to evade or overcome.

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

Every leader needs to learn what culture is, the elements of culture building and how cultural cliques can sometimes take away from both the effectiveness and efficacy of organisational capability.

Come Together: When Cultures Meet is a one-day programme designed to help recently merged organisations or business units work more effectively together. It enables organisations to quickly overcome any initial transitional problems and capitalise on the best aspects of each culture.

As we’ve said, mergers and acquisitions are a common business strategy. One business unit acquires another to strengthen itself in the marketplace. However, in the midst of financial and operational goals, two (or more) different groups of people now need to find a way to work together effectively.

Come Together: When Cultures Meet targets the people aspect of the merger process and addresses the behaviours that prevent your merged cultures from working together productively. In doing this you’ll be able to capitalise on the contributions of all parties and move forward as one integrated organisation.

It will enable your organisation to:

  • Define what culture is all about.
  • Learn the key elements of Culture Building.
  • Quickly overcome any initial interpersonal or ‘teething’ problems that are the result of the merger.
  • Really explore the ‘best of both’ cultures and integrate these into your ‘new’ culture.
  • Shift the responsibility for the success of the merger to all persons involved, not just senior management.
  • Provide a chance for self-reflection and awareness for individual contribution to the success or failure of the merger process.
  • Get to know your ‘new’ colleagues in the merged entity.
  • Have everyone strategically involved in the merger process.
  • Reach a better understanding and appreciation of the ‘other’ culture and their ability to interact during the process of merging cultures.
  • Build a robust culture.

SO HOW DOES IT WORK?

The centrepiece of the programme is a highly impactful experiential activity that surfaces the powerful dynamics at play when cultures meet.

A group with their “normal” way of working encounters a group with its “normal” way of working and then instantly you access the typical patterns that emerge when cultures meet.

The debrief process consists of thought provoking insights into these destructive patterns, sets up a highly engaging atmosphere for authentic dialogue and specific strategies on how to productively manage when cultures meet.

DISTINGUISHING FEATURES AND BENEFITs

HOW THE PROGRAMME WORKSWHICH MEANS FOR YOU
An exploration about what culture is and why it’s so vital to organisation health.An awareness of the importance of culture is reinforced and a commitment to building it together.
An emotionally charged experiential simulation of the merging of 2 cultures: “dominant” and “other”.Participants get the learnings at a real ‘gut’ level, not just at head level. They can’t run from or deny the visceral experience of the tensions of mergers.
An overview of the role of dominance and the dominant culture, and the unspoken and often unaware rules of "the way it is around here".All participants get to reflect personally on how they are helping or hindering the integration process.
Intervals of solid theory, reflections and leadership strategies are presented.It’s not just a day of awakening, it’s a day of learning 4 key strategies that help to ensure you build an even stronger culture.
The simulation is debriefed and the typical patterns that emerge are discussed through a shared conceptual map.The emotional charge is taken out of the discussions yet the passion remains. Allowing more authentic, honest and meaningful dialogue about the pull going forward.
Seeing the merger process and the systemic patterns involved, not just from a typical financial or operational viewpoint (where most mergers or acquisitions are focussed). Personal “reactions” are reduced, allowing more logical and reasonable decisions to be reached. Your people will master “the condition” of the system, not their emotions or the emotions of others.
Doesn’t have to be confined to large scale mergers. It is also suitable for recently merged departments or where existing interdepartmental frustrations are costing you dearly.A great stand-alone Leadership Development Module for any Leadership Programme.

*NB: All roles and organisations are accurate for the time of testimonial provided

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