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Cross-Border Change & Transformation

Would your global organization benefit from a proactive approach to change management and transformation?

Any transformation or company-wide change is difficult, the most difficult being a merger/acquisition situation.  Many (perhaps most) changes do not succeed.  And in global companies the change is always more complex, not only due to the size of the organization, but also due to the pressures of the culture diversity of the employee population.  Let’s take a look at the most difficult case, mergers, to see if there are any lessons there that we can apply to large scale change in general.

Mergers fail despite rigorous financial and business due diligence and powerful commitments on both sides to make them work.  Research has shown that mergers are apt to be more successful if the processes focus on resolving corporate culture issues (i.e., integrating both the cultural diversity of the employees and the organizational cultures): 
 

“Deals were 26 percent more likely than average to be successful if they focused on resolving cultural issues, and those acquirers who left cultural issues until the post-deal period severely hindered their chance of deal success, compared with those who dealt with them early in the process."
(SOURCE: KPMG Merger & Acquisition: A Global Research Report)


For all major organization wide changes, one of the prime causes of failure is the lack of attention paid to the impact change has on people and the lack of information about and planning to mitigate the “barriers to success” that this change will cause.

Organizations typically:

  1. Conduct insufficient cultural due diligence pre or post the announcement or initiation of change.  However, it is possible and practical to:
    a.    measure and compare the current organizational cultures, and agree on a “vision” for the new organizational culture
    b.    assess whether the internal values of employees will be a help or a hindrance in moving towards that new/vision culture
  2. Have arduous and lengthy processes to define and communicate the new strategy and direction (this often takes months if it happens at all effectively)
  3. Do not have enough access to the data on which to make informed decisions about the strategy and the people the change will effect by which to define the new organizational structure.

ITAP can help by:

  1. Measuring the current and future desired state of the organization; conducting a gap analysis
  2. Assessing and identifying when/where employee values are likely to create barriers to the changes
  3. Making recommended additions to the change management project
  4. See also e-StrategyMapper application

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