When I read this morning that the best airline in the U.S. (Southwest) had purchased one of the very worst (AirTran) I expected a raft of analysis considering how Southwest would maintain its corporate culture despite inheriting those rotten, dispirited AirTran employees. This was like a Brady Bunch number, but with the merging families being some Mormonic spot weld of the Huxtables, to the crew from Married with Children.
Granted, I'm a communication fruitcake who thinks culture first and business strategy second, but still, I thought it was odd that I couldn't find a mention of this obvious culture point in a half-dozen stories on the subject. It was all, market saturation this and compatible routes that.
A Google search for "Southwest Airtran corporate culture" yielded a post on a blog called CultureMap that asked the question of the hour, "Will AirTran completely ruin Southwest?"
But that's it!
How can the business press and the analysts they quote ignore the cultural angle when one of the most renowned cultures eats one of the most dysfunctional?
I do not understand it. And I'll bet you your A pass that Herb Kelleher doesn't, either.
As a friend of mine once said, "If I were dead, I'd be rolling in my grave right now."