I spent a couple hours speaking to representatives from United and Continental Airlines regarding a variety of travel issues triggered by their pending merger. I was fortunate that all of the representatives I interacted with were noticeably sincere and helpful. What was particularly illuminating is that most of my conversation included the language ‘us’ and ‘them’. It makes me wonder, how do you bring two large enterprises together in a sector as competitive as the airlines. The next round of the operations merger is scheduled for March 2012. How does the term ‘them’ morph into ‘us’ and a sense being one?
The same scenario is being played out in the social sector as organizations partner, merge, or hand over their programs to another enterprise. Combining staff, board, volunteers, and donors is not without systemic and cultural shifts. How prepared is your cause to partner, merge, or even discuss the potential?