Synergy refers to the resulting combined effect that is produced when two or more elements work together. It asserts the notion that the whole is always greater than the sum of the constituent elements. For instance, it is usually easier for two people to move a heavy load when they work together than it is for them to move half of the load separately. It is worth noting that synergy can be either positive or negative depending with where it is applied. In an organization, positive synergy is realized when two different teams cooperate to work together in addressing a certain issue. This is because the cooperation brings different skills and efforts that result to a higher productivity. At the same time, bringing two teams together can have a negative synergistic effect. This is usually when two antagonistic teams are brought to work together. The effect is that each team does not want to play its part because the concerned teams do not want their rivals to get a share of the credit. This is very devastating and under such circumstances, it is good to allow each team to work alone (Latash, 2008). This paper explores the application and significance of synergy in an organization. It further provides the recommendations that managers can apply in order to realize a higher productivity and motivation among their work force.
Application and Significance
In organizations, synergy is employed in choosing the committee members for a certain project or in choosing committees that are supposed to formulate important policies or to formulate and propose a monumental company change. The committee members work very hard in order to achieve certain results. As a result, different creativity from different minds produces one bigger idea that individual minds could not have produced on their own. Organizational managers know how to motivate each member of the team in order to ensure that each individual is more focused on team results than he is focused on his own results (Benoit, 2007). In a group or a team setting, each member brings his knowledge, insights and experience that leads to a better decision. Group synergy has a lot of importance if it is well employed. Besides resulting into better decisions, it also gives each member a chance to air his opinion and be listened to. In addition to this, the solutions or the decisions made are readily acceptable to the members. This makes it easy for the managers to introduce changes in the company without having much worry as to whether the employees will welcome them or otherwise (Benoit, 2009).
Looking at the organizations big picture, synergy is observed where each individual employee plays his own part thus resulting into an overall organization’s good performance. The firm also uses synergy when it deals with different multiple products. In some cases, the firm makes more profit from dealing with many products than it could have generated from one single product. Additionally, a firm is likely to have more than one production line because many production lines bring more synergistic effects. For instance, many production lines lower the cost of production and increase the amount of profits made. Still on the same context, the firms also understand the use of more than one market in realizing synergy. However, care must be taken since synergy might not be created for all products by having more than one market (Rentenbach, 2009).
The last way of creating synergy for a firm is through mergers and acquisitions. Through mergers and acquisitions, companies are able to diversify their products. For instance, company A producing product A can merge with company B producing product B. As a result, each company is able to enjoy a share of profit from both products. However, the most common types of mergers are the ones where both company produce the same product. This mainly occurs where one firm merges with its main competitor. This helps the two firms to beat the other competitors as well as broaden their market. However, this could result into negative synergy if the firm’s product fails to have the necessary demand. The last way of gaining synergy through mergers and acquisition is through merging a company with its main supplier. As a result, one company produces one product and the other one absorbs it. Mergers and acquisition if well applied bring about a lot of synergy to the firms involved (Latash, 2008).
The managers should communicate with employees freely in order to be able to identify the areas that employees need to improve on. After every assessment, managers should give feedback to employees and most probably correct the employees where necessary. This makes the employees better team members and further increases the group’s synergy. In addition to this, the managers should train their teams effectively especially in decision-making, conflict resolution, problem solving and effective communication. Moreover, the managers should establish goals that each team –building program is supposed to realize at the end of the training (Latash, 2008).
Lastly, the managers should assign responsibilities to the workers. Responsibility is a key motivator for a number of workers. In case there are no responsibilities that can be assigned, the manager should use role-playing exercises. Employees should be given alternating roles during each team building session. This makes the employees to interact together, bond more and feel more confident resulting into a greater team synergy (Benoit, 2007).
Every firm should find a way to employ positive synergy in its activities. Managers should be on the look out to contain any negative synergy. In order to survive in the competitive market, firms must find the best ways to create more synergy. With more synergy, they will be able lower their costs and raise their profits.
Benoit, M. D. (2007). Synergy. Austin, Tex.: Zumaya Otherworlds.
Latash, M. L. (2008). Synergy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rentenbach, B. (2009). Synergy. Bloomington, IN: Author House.