Helping Shape the Culture of the Future for One Professional Services Firm

The Client

The Client. a leading professional services firm, is following an aggressive growth strategy driven by mergers and acquisitions. Previously, most acquisitions were small firms and after several large firm acquisitions, cultural integration became a key priority.

 The Challenge

Recently, the firm completed 10+ acquisitions, growing their global employee base by four times within five years to 100,000+ employees. Each of the acquired firms had significantly different legacy cultures, team dynamics, and working styles.

Kirsten Stanger

Kirsten Stanger is a Director with the Organizational & Talent Development practice at B. Riley Farber. She focuses on designing and facilitating programs to corporate audiences on leadership development, team effectiveness, corporate culture, change management, coaching skills, and career management.

The firm recognized the return on these investments greatly depended on understanding and integrating these cultures, or they risk negative impacts including reduced productivity, decline in morale, and employee attrition.

The Solution

The initial phase of the solution was to conduct a global culture assessment among several merging firms to inform on similarities, differences, and key insights within various cultural dimensions across the firm and level and share insights that can be incorporated into key people strategies, integration and change plans, and future decision-making.

We completed assessments with several of the firm’s operating countries, with the continued roll-out across multiple countries.

We used a high touch personal approach to the assessment, which aligns with the desired future culture of the firm, combining qualitative and quantitative data collection via 1:1 confidential interviews with leaders and focus groups with employees from each legacy firm, and empirical survey data from all participants.

As follow-up to the assessment, we developed a roll-out strategy and content to cascade the findings and commitments through the organization, including facilitated findings debrief meetings and train-the-leader workshops with leaders to enable them to engage their own employees in defining and shaping the culture of the future.

The Outcome

The firm’s employees and leaders expressed great appreciation at being included in the initiative and having the opportunity to voice their experiences. The firm demonstrated their commitment to transparency and change by sharing the results of the assessment and committing to actions that address some of the key findings. The firm is currently executing their plans and we continue to be a trusted partner in their strategic initiatives, including providing leadership coaching to their leaders.

Cross-Cultural Communication in the Workplace

Tessa Desatnik highlights some examples of cross-cultural workplace challenges and how cross-cultural training can be used to effectively address them. Learn more.