What is synergy? How do we achieve it?
Synergy is derived from the Greek word, syn, meaning together, and energy. Synergy is the special energy which is created when people work together effectively on a project or problem. This energy is usually stronger and more powerful than the energy created by individuals working alone. The secret to synergy is how people work together. The model below illustrates how teams develop synergy:
In my previous training course we did a group activity with the objective that we reach team synergy in the end. We followed this book called the Black Bear. It goes by a scenario that starts something like this:
We’re a group of hikers on the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, when our Scout Leader gets attacked by a bear. He is bleeding steadily from deep laceratations on his chest,arms,and back from the bears claws, but does not appear to have broken bones.
The trip had turned into a disaster. Some of us are concerned that the Scout Leader is going into shock. All of us fear that he won’t survive unless he reaches proper medical help in within the next hours. There is also a fog coming.
So what to do?
We have to look at the strategy alternatives and see what should be the best way to go about the situation but first we need to look at the strategies as per:
So as individuals we have to work out the best way to get us back to safety and have medical help for our Scout Leader, we were given several choices. Once we established it based on our opinion alone, we work it out as a team and come up with one final solution. We were given a time limit as well to complete this exercise.
Once we’ve done that we need to check our score and see if we used team synergy to come up with the correct solution. The lower the score the better. In my case my individual score was less than the team score(2/6 including me got that result), it should be the opposite. This means that only two of us came up with the most logical decision. But being the introverts in the group we kept quiet most of the time and didn’t voice out our opinions like we should have. So we learned that in order to make decisions under pressure as a team we have to:
It is difficult to practice all the team member actions in the model, even under the best circumstances. Decision-making under pressure makes practicing these behaviours even more challenging. But in high-pressure situations, use of good decision-making techniques become crucial. With practice, I believe these seven actions can help us improve our team’s ability to make effective decisions, regardless of stress and pressure:)
Entry filed under: the drill.