Back in April, APSP and NSPF made the biggest industry news in years when they sat down and hammered out a bold and radical proposal to rationalize and unify their organizations.
And here we are, several weeks later — the promise is made, the headlines have been splashed and now, the hard work lies before them. They must be murmuring to each other over the water cooler, "Can you believe we signed up for this?!"
Imagine yourself, you, Mrs. Pool And Spa store owner, or you, Mr. Construction Company owner trying to merge your business on an equal footing with one of your peers.
Start running through the scenarios and see how long it takes before you get to your first major hurdle. I tried this and it took me two seconds.
There are redundancies — you now have two of a lot of things like accountants and PR and HR departments, and you only need one. You have different company cultures, you have different structures, and then there's the location. Your two businesses are located over 1,000 miles away from each other. Who makes the sacrifice? Or do you both move? The decision matters to the people who will have to uproot and sell houses.
And those problems are only what came to me in three minutes at a cafe on a Saturday morning in Wisconsin. On Monday morning in Washington or Colorado Springs, I'm sure they go on and on.
The magnitude of the challenge they have undertaken is impressive, as was the decision to risk it. They could have stayed safe in their offices and kept going for another year or five or 20, kept the paychecks coming and not rocked the boat. That option was open to them, but they saw this for what it was: The right and hard thing.
We all encounter this choice to varying degrees every day. The choice between the easy route for which there will be only slightly negative consequences, and the right and hard thing. Or the option to defer — for one more day.
What's my point? My point is that I have good friends in this industry that have never had a good thing to say about either one of these groups. I suppose they always just focused on what our industry organizations have failed to accomplish, and not the magnitude of their challenge or the paucity of their resources.
But it's time to admit there was a day when these two groups saw an enormously difficult path, that was the right path, and took it for the greater good despite the personal risk and suffering it would entail.
Come on, buds. You just need to admit that. Cough it up.