by Trevor Lee

One of the hardest things I’ve done in my professional life is lead an organization through closing. There were a variety of factors that contributed to the decision–scarce resources, leadership burnout, internal dynamics, and more. Looking back, I know we made the right decision, but one of the hardest things to come to terms with is that it might not have had to be that way. Of course, I’ll never know for sure, but I do know it wasn’t until we moved toward closing that the full picture of both the healthy aspects and unhealthy aspects of our organization became more clear. By that time it was far too late to try and do anything about them.

Whatever the outcome for the organization, I know for sure we would have profoundly benefitted from a third-party culture assessment years before we closed. Here are three reasons why a culture assessment is so important.

by Matt Thomas

A few weeks ago I met with a man who had recently wrapped up a surprisingly fruitful exit from the business he founded, owned, and operated for 20+ years. He was liquid and eager to deploy capital but before we dove into his opportunities for investment I asked him cautiously, “What kind of multiple did you get?” He looked both ways before leaning over the table and whispering enthusiastically, “22x!” I nearly spit my coffee out all over the table. 22x? Most business owners looking to exit can expect 2-3x, maybe 4-5 if they have carved out a niche with tremendous upside in their space, but 22x is unreal.

I peppered him with questions, wanting to know how this company in a saturated vertical was able to get acquired with that kind of multiple. Finally, I asked him what he believed was the primary contributor to his successful exit.