“Can your bug guys work with my bug guys?” Shakespeare notwithstanding, THAT is the question as far as Neil Parker, President of BugBusters USA is concerned.
In the current issue of Pest Control Management (yes, you read it here first), Neal tells his tale of attempting to integrate an acquired company where the cultural differences loomed larger than they had initially appeared. Article available here:
Neil asks the kind of questions that all too many senior executives fail to ask until the answer is only clear via an assortment of unanticipated problems:
What happens when a company with a “new school” mentality acquires a company with an “old school” way of doing business?
Parker’s answer echoes that of so many other companies that pay short shrift to the cultural aspects of an integration: disaster (lost employees, lost customers, brand dimunition, bad PR, etc.).
What The Merger Verger likes about his article is that he is so forthright: we blew it. I recommend reading it (2 minutes, max). There are both specific examples of cultural hurdles and useful insights. Check it out.
The message to CXOs:
In the spectrum of companies doing acquisitions, Bug Busters USA is a gnat. So your choices in reading Parker’s article are these:
- Slough off his comments as arising from limited experience and irrelevant smallness; or
- Conclude that if cultural issues can trip up a tiny deal by a fairly simple company how much more can they clobber a big, complicated, challenging deal like yours?