It may be laid down as a principle that in invading a country with two or three armies, each of which has its own distinct line of operations extending towards a fixed point at which all are to unite, the union of the different corps should never be ordered to take place in the vicinity of the enemy, as by concentrating his forces he may not only prevent their junction but also defeat them one by one.
Napoleon wisely recognized the folly of merging armies in the presence of the enemy. Even the best trained, most disciplined, most doctrinally sound, and most carefully organized armies are vulnerable when they first meld together.
Unexpected—and fully understandable—weaknesses come to the fore whenever different organizations join forces. Confusion reigns as organizational charts collide, leaders jockey for positions of responsibility and influence, and followers wonder to whom they owe allegiance.
It is just the nature of the beast when forces combine.
Think about this – If the moments when highly trained armies first combine are hazardous enough for Napoleon to dictate as principle that those maneuvers should not take place when opposing forces are near, imagine how much more hazardous such operations are in the disorderly world of commerce.
If you are involved in a venture that requires coordination between two or more organizations, fully assemble your force before you enter the market. Your purposeful mission statement, well-defined organizational culture, and broadly-accepted core values are indispensable tools.
Ensure everybody is operating based on the same understanding of your objectives before you introduce your company, product, or service to the marketplace.
To do otherwise is to invite confusion and court disaster.