Madeline talks about placing culture at the forefront when considering entering into M&A negotiations. Listen below:

In the episode, I mentioned using word clouds as a quick diagnostic tool for comparing cultures.

Here’s an example of comparing word clouds from two organizations I have worked with:

Company ACompany B
Word Cloud1Cloud 9

In this format, you can quickly see that:

  • Company A emphasizes a traditional, conservative, and complex culture
  • Company B is focused on process, (taking its) time, and product

At first glance, these two cultures seem fairly compatible, as traditional and conservative cultures tend to be a little slower moving and focused on process and procedure. However, looking at the next level of words tells a slightly different story.

  • Company A is described as collaborative and caring
  • Company B is driven by sales and accounting

I would immediately want to ask more questions about the values each company has: is a results-driven culture compatible with one that is more focused on relationships?


You can use this tool for assessing differences between teams, departments, or potentially merging organizations. My favorite online tool for creating word clouds is because you can create an account and save word clouds to reference later.


This week’s Culture At Work Challenge:

What are three words that describe the Culture At Work in your organization?

Share your industry and those three words on Twitter with @madelineboyer #cultureatwork