Transforming Corporate Politics into Creative Synergy

feature-article-image_sepEach one of us is unique and we encompass great possibilities. However, this potential needs a force, a nudge to actualize it, to awaken it.

The whole cosmos revolves around us to provide that force, that set-up to awaken the latent possibilities within us. In effect, individual success is always a result of concerted effort of many entities.

Walter Issacson, the author of Steve Jobs’ biography, once asked him what he thought was his most important creation, thinking he would answer the iPad or the Macintosh. Instead Jobs said it was Apple, the company. Creating an enduring company, he said, was both far harder and more important than making a great product.

Jobs realized the importance of a world-class team in creating world class products. So, while he may have been the face of the company, Jobs understood that he couldn’t sustain the brand success unless he could sustain the team that built it. 

There are many instances in our life when we feel that people who play the political game get ahead faster, but in the long term it’s difficult to pursue individual success without group effort. We are all interconnected and only together can we rise higher.

Co-operation or creative synergy always stumps politically-inspired competition.

In this article let us explore the key ingredients of creative synergy:

1. From dependence to independence to interdependence

When children are born, they are dependent on others for nurturing. Gradually they become aware of their faculties, gaining greater independence; but the journey is still incomplete because as they become self-reliant, they also become aware of the role other people play in their success. The role of parents, teachers, friends and mentors cannot be understated. Ultimately we all need other people. In fact, even to feel independent, we need others; otherwise what would we become independent from? And while we all have unique strengths, we do not possess all strengths. Interdependence is born out of this understanding of the value and regard for others. Desmond Tutu calls it “Ubuntu”.

2. From self glory to team glory

We are social animals and we thrive in social set-ups. While the significance of individual progress cannot be denied, the joy of collaborative victory outshines it.  We all love to celebrate our success and the only way others can truly celebrate our success is when they are a part of it and not just a witness to it.

3. Seeking significance over recognition

Being recognized is one thing but significance is a much higher calling. Recognition is cause-related and hence temporary; whereas significance becomes a function of our personality, motivating us to continually draw the best from ourselves. This significance is honed through inspired vision, consistent performance, and principled actions.

4. Having the right kind of power

Whether it’s our favorite teacher, an inspiring leader, or a supportive mentor, we are all attracted to people who encourage us to become more than we think we are. We want to be with them not because they are great, but because they empower us to live our greatness. This kind of magnetism is much more enduring and valuable than the power derived from a particular title, designation or situation.

5. Two plus two can be much more than four 

The Greeks defined synergy as the creation of a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. In the corporate setting, we know that synergy can cause the group to outperform even its best individual member. But synergy doesn’t happen without effort. To kindle it, we must let go of our individual egos, and acknowledge that everyone has a unique opportunity to contribute to the success of the group.

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