Synergy is an often overused term, although incredibly effective when actually achieved. Merriam-Webster defines synergy as "a mutually advantageous conjunction or compatibility of distinct business participants or elements (as resources or effort)." Achieving synergy is not as easy as it sounds, however I will provide four steps to help you achieve team synergy.
I write this blog with a bit of sadness. The great Sir George Martin has passed away. To some, he was known as the fifth Beatle. George Martin was an incredibly talented man, a classically trained conductor, a record producer, an audio engineer and a musician, who used his orchestral style to help the Beatles compose some of the most enduring rock’n roll music in history. I have been a fan for a very long time as I received my first Beatles album, “Meet the Beatles,” from my aunt when I was one year old. I still enjoy their music today and spin some when I need a feel-good antidote.
Neither Martin nor the Fab Four were extraordinary on their own, but it was the synergy between them that resulted in an a magical combination. I listened to an interview on National Public Radio with Paul McCartney who shared some of the genius of Martin. He explained that the Beatles wanted the song “Yesterday” accompanied by a guitar, and Martin insisted they try it with a string quartet with music he wrote. The rest is history, as the song became one of the best-selling hits of all time, as well as being a beautiful ballad. I believe Bernie Taupin and Elton John have this same synergy 48 years strong.
I believe trying to find that same synergy in business can be just as powerful. I have heard it said many times, a company is nothing more than a group of individuals who come together to create or provide a service to the market. The key is assembling the right team of individuals that are greater than the sum of their parts and work well together to truly achieve greatness. It takes a team of intelligent, skilled, passionate and motivated people who want to work together to achieve synergy. One wrong person on the team can destroy this, and this is why it is so very important to hire the right people. I have always liked the mantra, hire slow and fire fast. Adding new members to the team is one of the most important and disruptive things a company can do. One new member and you have a new team.
A true leader understands the concept of synergy and can be compared to a musical conductor who assembles a team of individuals and provides inspiration, hope, and direction to accomplish amazing things.
Check your ego at the door if you want to truly create a synergistic team.
Here are four things you can do to create synergy in your company even when working from home:
- Create a shared vision, core values, purpose, and strategies.
As the late Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in Mind.” Having a foundation for your business and a clear direction where to take it is very important. Once people understand this, they can work together to get there in the true spirit of the organization.
- Demonstrate clear servant leadership and define the roles of your team. Explain how everyone fits into the strategy and how he or she can help achieve it. Develop cross-functional teams that work in an interdependent manner.
- Develop trust, respect and passion in your team.
Promote open and honest communication. Build a team that does not rely on or tolerate egos and standalone performers. Ensure every member feels valued and appreciated.
- Build a positive environment where success and achievement are recognized and rewarded.
Ensure that individuals are in the right positions doing the work they enjoy and are passionate about. Have fun every day.
Achieving synergy is a process and once achieved it must be continually nurtured. Enable effective communication and address issues head on when they arise to maintain harmony with the team. It takes patience, practice, time, and commitment, but synergy can be achieved and maintained. Who knows, your team may just create the next big hit in your market!
Good luck as you pursue group synergy, Alan
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