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Cultural Due Diligance

Hardly a day goes past without news of a corporate move by one company to buy another more often than not in a different country or cultural setting. News of failure always makes the headlines but what lies behind those companies that make mergers or large scale re-organization really successful? The answer lies increasingly in understanding your own company organizational culture, the culture of the company with whom you wish to cooperate or merge or the culture that you would like to create.

CULTURAL DUE DILIGENCE is how we assess, define and understand the culture of another organization enabling us to discover areas of similarity and difference that impact upon how organizations work together and how and whether integration can be successful or what the likely barriers or obstacles are likely to be.

Independent studies continue to confirm that success and failure of mergers mostly point to a profound lack of understanding of how an entrenched or long established organizational culture is difficult to change and that there is little real appetite to research the culture of the company or organization being acquired.

To our surprise, HR is rarely involved in planning of any merger or acquisition mainly being left with the task of understanding their new counterparts’ culture ‘after the event’ and our findings here are as true for larger companies as they are for smaller ones!




CDD is a set of tools which creates an empirically sound platform bringing together and measures core organizational cultural and national cultural dimensions or value indicators and how they are expressed in an organizational setting. Broadly these measure organizational cultural styles and characteristics by addressing distinct organizational value indicators which when taken together will present a profile of any target organizational, ie the DNA of a company. These indicators can be used for comparative and gap analysis which highlight differences such as beliefs, attitudes; norms including hierarchy and locus of power, rituals, leadership and management styles; intra company relationships, ethics and communication styles.



  • Creates a cultural map of your company in comparison to another.
  • Assesses current organizational culture of a company with view to creating a new one
  • Clarifies how ‘unseen’ cultural differences such as traditions, values or internal behaviours impact upon working together
  • Identifies how and when power is used , where hierarchy impacts upon leadership, decision making, motivation empathy
  • Provides transparency on communication, is there a culture of listening; commitment to feedback,
  • Identifies subtle cultural differences in how we work with each other, open/closed door culture; the nature of relationships; the levels of trust and collaboration?
  • Captures suggestions from employees; encourages sharing & open-ended questions
  • Supports leadership where a cultural change is being introduced

All in all provides a powerful platform for identifying specific cultural characteristics as a planning tool for change, merger integration


  • Level 0ne – The Rapid Culture Assessment Test – R.CAT: designed for speedy application providing a rapid overview of a company culture and identify where major issues are likely to lie. Of particular use to directors or senior managers and HR who want to identify high level culture or organisational value indicators. Provides a 180o survey leading and report; a simple consolidated report of inestimable value for each group measured.
  • Level 2 – where a merger or wide scale organizational change goes ahead, this provides a detailed analysis of the cultural dimensions of a company or organization; team, country location or division. Here, CDD would be used in 360o mode with detailed individual and composite reports.
  • Level 3 – provides the entry point for using all of the data generated to plan the changes and support which may be both internal or use external input such as expert advice, specialized workshops, facilitated session or setting up a framework for internal company consulting.


Deciding you want to understand your own organizational culture is the big first step; how compatible is your company with another? How far can you identify cultural barriers that are mostly below the waterline? Talk to us to see how this entirely new tool can the cultural sticking points and provide workable solutions

One thing is clear, the number crunchers can take a deal so far only – cultural compatibility and gap analysis will normally determine its eventual success.


  • Company directors and vice presidents heading up strategy
  • Project team leadership responsible for thinking out expansion strategy
  • Company directors and VPs leading M&A, integration
  • HR and OD departments involved with integration planning
  • Divisional and subsidiary leadership planning integration with a new company or department