This weekend I attended a beautiful family wedding. The bride and groom brought into the ceremony traditions from their respective cultures and sentiments that expressed their unique personalities. They truly made their day an expression of their individual pasts and united future. During the ceremony, the two families promised to support this new union and come together as their network of support. At the reception, family members mingled and danced together and enjoyed a happy and memorable time together. The day set the stage for a strong, loving marriage.

When companies, divisions, or teams come together, the success of such mergers often depend on the same things that make a successful marriage – recognizing and acknowledging the past, bringing the two groups together effectively, and painting a strong vision for a future together. These steps can lay the right groundwork for any type of restructuring or merger and set you up for success:

  • Recognize and acknowledge the individual pasts – What I love about weddings is the chance to hear stories about the bride and groom and see pictures of them growing up. While I had never met the bride before, through the emotional speeches given by her sister, dad, and friends and conversations with her family and friends, I learned quite a bit about her and really appreciated what she brings to our family. Taking the time to share stories of the individual groups that are coming together helps build awareness and understanding.
  • Build trust – By focusing on developing effective relationships, communicating information about the merger in a timely and consistent manner, and creating space for team members to get to know each other, you will build a great environment built on trust.
  • Create a compelling vision of the future – Like the vows spoken at a wedding, sharing a common vision for the future, declaring it, and promoting it sets a clear direction for all and moves once-disparate parts toward common goals.
  • Celebrate – Take the opportunity to celebrate successes, milestones, and actions that support the working environment and future you are trying to create. Acknowledge behaviors that demonstrate a commitment to working together effectively and building a stronger organization.

A wedding brings two lives together with all of the hope, joy, and excitement for a bright future. By taking the time to focus on the people and practice Thoughtful Leadership™ in leading your organizational restructuring, you can experience the benefits of a happy marriage of sorts. Cheers!

How can you create more harmony and connection during change? What are the secrets to a happy merger?
Please leave a comment to share.

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