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Cultural Integration

An organization's culture is like gravity. You can't see it or touch it, but it exerts a constant pull that holds things in place. Like gravity, culture is made tangible by its effects; it can be seen in the behaviors and practices of an organization's management and employees. When two different cultures are required to work together, the effects, while often catalytic, can sometimes be disruptive and can undermine morale, productivity, and profits.

The need for integration of various organizational cultures is becoming more and more frequent, with increasing globalization and consolidation within many industries. The need to successfully integrate cultures, whether precipitated by a merger or acquisition, development of a new unit, labor-management difficulties, or cross-functional projects, presents complex management challenges.

Most managers attempt to bring about cultural integration through top-down initiatives that are aimed at influencing behaviors and practices. These programs often fail because they address the effects of culture, leaving its causes unseen and unchanged. Vanto Group, a full-scale consulting firm, works with its clients to create initiatives in which people can successfully step outside their familiar frameworks to identify and address the embedded attitudes, assumptions, and ways of thinking that drive behavior and hold the culture's limitations in place. In doing so, participants gain the freedom to act in new ways, and to forge a new culture based on common goals and values.

Culture is an elemental force within an organization; with Vanto Group's partnership, companies are able to harness this force to create positive change in their organizations.

"I have been a union leader for almost 30 years and a site official for the last 10 years. It was never considered to be in our interest to work cooperatively with management. We fought them, we had long, protracted strikes, and we never even considered the possibility of any kind of a real working relationship."

"With the work of Vanto, we are now in a partnership with management. We have the opportunity to have input into business decisions and all relevant information is shared with us. Our membership now understands that as a union we benefit from this being the best business in the world, both in terms of job security and satisfaction in our accomplishments.  This new union/management partnership was reflected in our recent contract negotiations. The negotiation period was shortened from two-and-a-half to three years to an unprecedented three-month process. We are committed to continuing in this high performing partnership to deliver the changes required to meet the needs of all stakeholders."

Tony Wolfenden,
Lodge Secretary/Treasurer
Central Councillor
Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy
Union of Australia, Mining & Energy Division