Will Microsoft + Skype = Cultural Disaster?

Almost every week we hear about some giant company merging with or acquiring an up and coming start up. While this is exciting news — especially for the owners of the smaller company — it’s really just a signal of the hard work to come.

Every company has a different organizational culture. Often coined “the company personality,” culture is one of those key factors that contributes to a company’s success. It’s also what attracts a specific type of employee.

What happens when a company like Microsoft, which has become known as a bureaucratic dinosaur in recent years, takes technology leader Skype officially into its rank and file? There’s sure to be some issues between the leaders of these organizations despite the fact that things look rosy from the outside.

In her whitepaper, Mergers, Partnering, Restructuring: Blending Cultures in the New Company, author Peg Neuhauser says there’s a lot of work to do with leaders at all levels. She indicates you can’t expect one weekend retreat to do the job for you. That’s pretty much true for any cultural issue. Her advice is to get people talking — especially by telling war stories — which will help you identify underlying values and beliefs that can derail the integration of the companies.

As a leader in an organization that is being acquired or merged with another, you play a key role in making the change successful. First and foremost, it will require frequent, transparent communication with team members at all levels about what’s happening. Without a good communication program, people will naturally make things up to fill the void leaving the organization to fight the “rumor wars” instead of focusing on the primary business objective.

Do you think there will be cultural friction between Microsoft and Skype? Have you been part of a company that merged with or acquired another? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

Denise O'Berry

Denise O’Berry — aka the Team Doc — has been working with teams and team leadership in the public, non profit and private sectors for over twenty years. She gets a lot of joy from working with teams and their leadership to help them improve and work through team issues. Not only does her advice come from the heart, it comes from years of experience working as a team member, team leader, manager and owner of her own company. She has truly walked in your shoes and offers help so you can be a better team leader. You can find more advice from Denise at her website askteamdoc and don't forget to follow her on Twitter @askteamdoc.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

  • http://www.theposwarehouse.com/ quickbook point of sale

    Well, I’ve never been a part of a company that merged with or acquired another. But I’ve heard that when a big company is starting to realize that a smaller company is being a threat to them in which the users are switching  to this smaller company, they first develop something to compete with the smaller company or overcome it. But if they could not succeed with that plan, they then merge with that company or acquire it.

    [Reply]