Situation: A West Coast company has recently acquired an East Coast company. The two companies serve similar customers with different but complimentary services. The acquired team has a history and mode of operating. The CEO seeks advice on how much they should require the new team to operate as they do at the home office. How do you integrate a new team into your culture?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Have patience. The transition and transfer of culture will take time. Your priority is for both offices to operate smoothly and profitably. Business practices differ by geography to suit their regional cultures. The remote office need not function just like the home office.
- If you want a manager from your home office in the new office, take care who you select. Since you have history with the new company and office, select a manager who already has a good relationship with key senior managers in the new office. This will ease the transition, and will keep you updated on what is happening there.
- Organize a dinner with your new manager and the senior managers in the new office. At dinner you will want to communicate your expectations and accelerate the transition.
- Involve the senior managers from the new office in mentoring the new manager. This will give them an important role and will show respect for their knowledge and expertise.
- Do all that you can to reinforce the link between the offices – in a constructive way.
- Set benchmarks and plans of action, and manage to these.