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Post-merger integration

Building trust and bases of cooperation

A simulation game in the process of merging two organizations

110 managers meeting – two organizations – two separate cultures


In mid-2008, two telecommunications companies merged. The merger brought with it a set of challenges:

  • How to prepare the managers of both companies for effective teamwork?
  • How will the two different organizational cultures collaborate creatively without creating new divisions?
  • How to build an atmosphere of openness and trust at a time of change and upheaval?

The new company president was on the lookout for a tool that could be used to intelligently and effectively unite the new combined team. Something to draw attention away from the merger and unite the team around a common challenge, providing the opportunity for shared experiences and a starting point for positive collaboration.


In August 2008, 110 managers undertook the simulation game. Managers competed with each other in mixed teams. The wining team was the one which succeeded in best gauging customer needs, responding with an effective solution and not allowing the competition to overtake them.
The game succeeded in achieving its brief by the fact that the separate teams undertook a joint operation, developed their own model of cooperation, and communicated effectively to share knowledge.


When teams from different organizations are first combined, communication problems are common due to a lack of trust and concerns about the future. The best way to overcome this is to ensure people have opportunities to get to know each other and reach common understandings.
Over 100 people joined together in this game. They all faced the same situation and through their experience, broke down communication barriers and found shared solutions to the challenges facing them.

Participant feedback

“The game proved that it is extremely important to have clear rules in the work place, and knowledge of who is responsible for what. People must also see the whole picture.”

“It was a real test of the openness and dynamics of teamwork. I was also surprised at how quickly time has passed and how cool it worked in the new, unknown composition.”