I've been through a number of mergers, consolidations and takeovers in my professional life. Below is the value statement developed for the consolidation of the Minneapolis and Hennepin County Library systems. Could be useful in public, private and nonprofit sectors:
The Library Steering Committee and the co-chairs of the nine pre-merger teams, comprised of more than 100 Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Library employees, continue to meet and recently developed guiding values for the pre-merger planning process. These values are:
- We are focused on the needs of the customer and are accountable to the needs of a new organization and to each other.
- We are open to new and different ways of doing things – what worked in the past may not work in the future.
- We are truly curious and realize that there is rarely only one way of doing things.
- We will work to understand and respect the past work of both partners while channeling our creativity into this opportunity.
- We will presume good intentions of others and, if needed, will follow-up for clarification.
- We recognize that there will be challenges ahead that will require us to understand and respect elements of bureaucracy and politics.
- We will use our collective sense of humor to assure we have more celebration and less commiseration.
- We are committed to open communication amongst ourselves and with all staff while recognizing that we do have some fear and anxiety to conquer.