Weekly Thought Starter: Why Merge?

Disrupt your thinking to explore new ideas and relationships.

Conferences bring people together from different geographic areas with different backgrounds, experience, and titles. All show up with a similar goal: to find insight and inspiration to keep showing up and making things better.

What makes attending a conference worthwhile is the degree to which we all disrupt our own normal patterns of thinking and interacting to explore new ideas and relationships. To MERGE what we might know with what the person next to us might think about differently. To MERGE the connection we’ve nurtured for years with a person you just met. To MERGE the strategies your company has mastered with an innovative approach from another company. To MERGE the trends and best practices of our industry with the thoughts and ideas that other industries are already delivering.

Photo of smiling crowd of people, one with hand raised

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
– George Bernard Shaw

What does it take to disrupt your thinking?

MERGE intends to deliver an experience that invites you to stretch your thinking and behavior to prepare you (and your company) for a better future. While the conference programming and events will provide the structure for MERGING ideas and people, the opportunity lies within each of us to show up in a way that allows us to open our minds to something different. So, what does it take for that to happen?


We each have knowledge and ideas that are valuable to others. Reminding ourselves of this gives us confidence to share from our experiences and genuinely connect with others. And if confidence isn’t your strongest quality, conferences are a great place to practice vulnerability since almost every else is either in a similar position or has experienced it at some point. You’ll be surprised by how many people have similar challenges and face similar obstacles every day. Engaging at networking events and during breaks as well as in smaller breakout sessions will result in more tangible ideas that relate to your situation and how it could be better in the future.


Strategic planning, scenario planning, forecasting, and pushing to develop better content for communications and proposals, all require considering different realities. Thinking about a different reality in the future requires some imagination. Showing up to a conference with imagination will allow you to find what is relative from each presentation and consider alternative ways of approaching the challenges and opportunities you face each day.


Before new ideas can take hold, there needs to be some room for them and that means letting go of the way you’ve always done things. After years of proposal preparation and presentation coaching, it’s easy to think you’ve figured it out; that the way you do it, is the best way. Be honest in assessing what may or may not need a new strategy or approach in your world. Look for opportunities in small and big ways to let go of your habits and consider what could come from another way of doing something.


There’s always a tendency to shrug your shoulders and think, “I’ve heard all this before.” And, of course, there will always be things presented and discussed that may not be new to you. However, if you continue to ask yourself, “how can this help me?” you will find unexpected answers. Show up with curiosity and inquiry and challenge everyone else to do the same.