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Merge This! Moving from Cold War to collaboration

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Mergers and acquisitions are not exactly the Brady Bunch of the business world. Sure, it can be an exciting time when companies blend together in what we hope will be a blissful union. For the principals and investors who stand to reap rewards, the union is ripe with promise and possibilities.

However for those impacted by this merger—employees, customers, vendors and prospects, it can seem to be an unholy marriage full of uncertainty and curiosity. If you aren’t ready with a transition strategy and fail to manage your messaging, the “siblings” could start stringing concertina wire atop their silos of excellence. Before you know it, everyone is taking sides and you’ve got a civil war instead of a civil union on your hands.

As personnel from two different entities become family, especially in the case of a merger of direct competitors, suspicion can run rampant and sparks may ignite. Factionalism challenges team bonding. Internal strife is apparent to outside stakeholders and is a threat to building a strong brand. So, building your new brand must begin with communication that starts within.

So how do you move from Cold War to collaboration?

This may sound like wholesale drinking of the proverbial Kool-Aid, but leading by example shows how a strong internal team collaborates to build the brand. Everyone wins—together.


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