Synergy: The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

Some other ways you may have heard this concept mentioned is ‘two heads are better than one’ or ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’

Many organizations use the term ‘synergy’ as part of their method of operations, or behaviors and culture. For Allegacy, synergy makes up everything we do and, in fact, our culture is based on the Synergy Wheel™. Our Synergy Wheel™ model requires us to become open and authentic. When we open ourselves up to the influence of others, we gain insights and facilitate new idea generation. We value the differences and ideas everyone has to offer and recognize the rich resources available through interactions with individuals in the organization.

From all aspects of a business—operations, marketing, customer service, etc.—organizations are made up a number of interconnected parts. Sometimes, these functions may be appear or act in a manner where they operate on their own; however, one change in one of their processes can trigger a chain reaction of issues for the entire system. Knowing this, organizations that operate under the notion of synergy, or being interdependent versus independent, will have a competitive advantage.

When your organization is focused with more systems thinking, leaders and employees will think about the relationships and long-term impact of short-term decisions. Systems thinking helps you think with a proactive problem-solving approach that can better predict the consequences of change, minimize silo thinking, evaluate others’ viewpoints, and remain focused on the big picture. It will truly help you find optimal solutions to complex challenges, increase productivity, and improve innovation.

Synergistic organizations build on core competencies and utilize skills, which combined, strengthen the value chain and create competitive advantages.

Case in Point: Do you know the joint power of four horses? Well, two horses can pull about 9,000 pounds. The arithmetical response would be 18,000 pounds…sounds reasonable, but incorrect! Four horses can actually pull over 30,000 pounds. “Why?” you ask…well, it is synergy that makes the difference. (I was raised in a small town in the beautiful East Tennessee mountains, where my grandparents have a farm and my parents now reside as well. The power created by a team of animals working in tandem has always fascinated me. My passion is to unleash that same power in the workplace.)