My business was originally split into two – a furniture finishing business and a cabinet makers. We merged the two on paper but seemingly failed to do so in culture. For a long time, I thought it was simply because they had been two different businesses. Then I thought it was exacerbated by us expanding into a second factory unit across the way and therefore re-splitting the two halves – albeit still on the same piece of land. Indeed our business coach, on one of his visits, hammered us all for a non-team building culture – the way we constantly referred to “the other side” or “them over the road”. Having spent much more time recently looking at personalities patterns, with a view to motivation and involvement, I have subsequently come to the conclusion that the actual jobs involved in the different units overall attract completely different types of people and that is why we’ve had difficulties merging the two. The woodworkers tend to be steadier, slower and more reliable than the finishers, who tend to be more gregarious, volatile and changeable. Trying to get a straight answer from a woodworker, for example, will always involve six meetings and a list of pros and cons, while the finisher will throw a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ back straight away without much thought involved. Wonder how other businesses have coped with mergers; if they have found different personalities go with different businesses or occupations and how best to get the two to work together? I’m sure there must be tomes of literature out there on the subject somewhere…
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