As an architectural firm we love design, but… we don’t get our hands dirty too much. We also love to grow our business. We have the opportunity to merge with a prominent construction firm to establish a single design build entity. Can these two cultures co-exist?
Historically, when a project goes wrong, the designer claims “you didn’t follow my plans.” The contractor responds with, “your plans stink,” and years of finger pointing, arbitrators, judges and lawyers follow. You are wise to proceed with caution Pre-Nup. Such a merger is a game changer for you. It’s a good bet your construction firm mate feels the same. After the merger you will no longer be able point fingers when the blame game starts. The buck will stop in your new entity. If you don’t like the idea of taking on construction phase risk in addition to design risk, you might reconsider the merger. At the very least, like any marriage, make sure the merger is easy to unwind for both just in case the cultures clash.