How did the culture change?

January 28 2021

Contributed by: Chris Martin, Managing Director, Food Tech Group

In this edition of our Q&A style series, former Tibersoft CEO and founder Chris Martin talks about being acquired by CSI/Volaris.

Looking back, I wouldn’t say that our culture changed after we were acquired; but it did accelerate. What I mean by that is we saw desirable aspects of our culture evolve faster. We had always expected a lot from ourselves in a “work smart, not hard” kind of way. After the acquisition, our strategy and review processes tightened up, which helped us achieve more predictable results.

Keeping and improving our culture was really important to us. Like most, our culture developed in the way it did for a reason: to meet the needs of the kinds of customers we served, to meet the kinds of products and services we offered, and then the kind of employees that came together to make that happen. We didn’t want a forced integration of someone else’s culture. The decentralized nature of Constellation means it is a federation of many kinds of cultures. Each business unit has a customized, living culture to curate and preserves your product-market fit. And of course, ultimately, customers have to dig what you’re doing.

“We didn’t want a forced integration of someone else’s culture.”

A younger version of myself wouldn’t have appreciated as much the differences between culture and values. There are definitely common values across all business units. A surprising one that I especially appreciate is vulnerability. But I’ll keep that topic for another post.

If you want to upgrade your culture as part of being acquired, then fair enough - but you won’t be forced to adopt a different culture after joining CSI/Volaris. Instead, you have the freedom to pick and choose from what inspires you in other cultures within the organization. People change when their environment compels them to change, and companies hit very different growth inflection points as they mature. These factors fuel my conclusion that what a company and its culture need at any particular time totally depend on the situation’s challenges. So formulaic answers to how company culture may need to evolve are not popular among employees - and likely not very successful - because people may not understand why changes are forced upon them and even resent having to implement them.

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