A friend of mine, Michael Kerrison, owns a Minneapolis-basedmanagement consulting firm called EnduranceAmerica whose offer isto help companies "create the organization that, if it existed,would put yours out of business."

Think about that. It's a powerful statement that Mike turns intoa question and immediately gets his client's senior managementteams thinking about what's missing from their organizations in anon-threatening way. His question asks them to project rather thananalyze, devise rather than criticize. Hope rather than fear.

With the recent mergers in the real estate industry, a questionlike Mike's may well have real estate industry watchers scratchingtheir heads. After all, these mergers are not creatingorganizations that put more power back in their client's hands;they are simply creating bigger entities. In an effort to improvethe bottom line, these firms will have to reduce their headcountwhile trying to reassure their newly assimilated employees that allis well (and stable). It will be difficult to do this in light ofmass defections and layoffs. And trust me, you'll see both.

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