This workshop deals with fire department mergers. The first day is spent with your management and labor teams discussing lessons learned from past mergers, both good and bad. The second day consists of a brainstorming session to identify critical obstacles to the prospective merger and potential solution strategies. Lessons learned by those who have been there are invaluable and may prevent you from making the same mistakes.
How do we get members to “buy in” and take ownership of the merge? Shouting “rah- rah-rah” is not the answer. Learn how to identify and manage land mines early. Operational management on issues such as hose size, color of turnouts, tactics, direction of hose lays, and station assignments can make or break the merger.
Most importantly, how do we invigorate our troops to take hold of the merger and move it to the next level? Individual and group motivation, group think, and the mob mentality must be addressed. Lead your folks to take the future on with enthusiasm and ownership instead of fear and anger.
Mergers involve 5 key components: Management/labor relationships, finances, politics, operations and culture. All of these must be incorporated in a master plan if you expect to successfully chart the shark-infested waters of a merger/consolidation.
The Relationships by Objectives model is used with working groups in your team to organize these 5 critical factors. Your team will actually work through challenges in the 5 factors to gain traction, momentum and ownership in the merge.