Creating a global culture post-acquisition
A German manufacturing company must modify its deeply embedded company culture when acquired by a Chinese government entity.
A German manufacturing company was being acquired by a state-owned Chinese company to expand its international footprint through technology acquisition and transfer of managerial know-how. During the transition, the results from the company’s first employee satisfaction survey in the firm’s 100+ year history revealed that employees, including leadership, wanted a stronger learning culture with a focus on professional development. In addition, the firm needed to strategically align all senior leaders at manufacturing sites spread across western and central Europe, Mexico, and the United States during a time of transformation and create a new, more international organizational culture.
A multi-module leadership development series facilitated by Aperian Global consultants was rolled out over the course of a year to senior leaders across all entities and business divisions. Theory and experiential learning were combined for the effective building of new skills. Individual coaching took place in between modules, which further transferred concepts such as “leader as coach” into the daily behavior of participants. Global leadership skills, such as “invite the unexpected,” were explored through exercises. This gave the German, Chinese, and other business leaders the confidence and knowledge not only to drive change with their teams, but also to better understand the expectations of the new Chinese owners.
The result was the creation of an informal senior leadership support network which spans all divisions. Not only have the individual leadership styles of these executives evolved, but they now reach out to each other for knowledge and sharing of best practices. They continue to drive the transformation from a collection of national mindsets to an international, more inclusive one. The new positive energy and fresh outlook have become contagious and continue to spread across the organization.