Mergers can be an excellent opportunity for LDCs to reduce costs and better serve their respective communities. To succeed, however, mergers must make sense not only on paper, but from a cultural perspective as well. Culture is intangible and difficult to articulate by people who live and breathe it everyday.
In a highly-regulated industry like Ontario’s energy sector, with workforces that are frequently unionized, ensuring cultural alignment between two companies is often easier said than done. Waiting for regulator approval can be a lengthy and slow-moving process—one that can put significant constraints on how and when the organizations conduct cultural assessments. In a similar vein, depending on a union’s collective agreement, it can also be difficult to bring employees together, job share or conduct employee town halls to uncover cultural concerns and put employees at ease before the merger is approved.
Nevertheless, a cohesive transition hinges on a smooth cultural integration. To achieve it, you need to complete as much legwork as possible upfront—something a third-party integration specialist can help you with. The right specialist not only knows how to navigate regulatory obstacles, but can also devise ways to pre-emptively uncover deeply-rooted cultural differences, such as how people digest information, how they communicate and how they demonstrate respect and appreciation.
Once it becomes evident that cultural alignment is possible, and the merger receives regulatory approval, the integration specialist can also help craft a deliberate, clearly-defined cultural integration strategy—one that outlines how the merging organizations should manage organizational change moving forward. This can involve identifying how you plan to help people grow within the new company or how you plan to support them, should they choose to leave or retire.
For more information on how an integration specialist can help LDC’s smoothen the transition, click here or contact: