January 28


Collaborating with others creates synergy

Collaborating with others creates synergy

Is functioning collaboration a reality?
Are working teams the same as collaboration?
Not sure how to start collaborating?

Green Chalkbaord with yellow chalk writing: Collaborating Synergy:  A+B = C +1
Collaborating is a winning formula!

Collaborating seems to be an ideal for many instead of a manner of functioning. It’s a shame because the synergy collaborating creates is phenomenal! Let’s first oversimplify defining collaborating. Collaborating is when 2 or more people, or teams join together and are cooperating, or co- laboring, to accomplish a goal. The key for collaborating is: everyone is actively participating. Does this sound like the teams you are on?

Collaborating teams aren’t as common as we believe!

Usually teams are created to accomplish a common goal. So far this is similar to collaborating, doesn’t it? What’s the difference? By definition the difference isn’t obvious. Yet, by observation is it undeniable! When a collective is actively collaborating, something mystical occurs: synergy. Synergy isn’t the same as achieving the intended goal. It’s more.

Teams often function in a mathematical fashion: If A + B happen, C will occur. This sequential process is understood and experience by many teams. Then there are the unique teams, whose collaborating efforts accomplish actualizing the C in the mathematical equation and more. The hopeful, yet desirable collaborating efforts create synergy.

For math lovers synergy would be expressed: A + B = C + 1. The + 1 is the synergistic element which appears because something else, other than the goal (C), is created. Synergy occurs when all the moving parts of a team are flowing – not always effortlessly, but the team comes together as a highly functioning unit of 1. Teams who have organically created the dynamic of synergy are the teams we remember. Sports is a common example of this, the team with the most synergy doesn’t always win, but they are the team we are all talking about!

Do collaborating teams exist?

YES! Have you ever watched a string quartet? Did you notice how each team member is doing a different activity? String quartets are self directed work teams. Everyone is responsible for their own preparation and performance without having a boss or director.

Have you ever noticed how some string quartets are moving and others aren’t? Guess what the moving team has created – synergy. They have unified their performance into one flow which is pleasant to experience because it is harmonious. Again, harmonious may not always be easy, but it does create a pleasant experience for participants and observers. This appears to be the reason why people often associate synergy with happiness!

When creating a new group or team, introduce the concept of collaboration and declare it as the group’s intended manner of functioning.

Two years ago there was a group of women who were interested in creating a group. The women wanted it to function as a Women’s Circle. I suggested we create a collaborating model. After great discussion, we proceeded once there was enough buy-in. Together, we successfully learned how to function collaboratively because we were all vested in its success! The collaborating factor of this Circle is one of the main reasons why others join.

Looking for further wisdom-sharing on collaboration?
Click to see previous posts:
Become a Wolf Pack Workplace  (originally posted March 2012)
Communicate like a Wolf Pack  (originally posted March 2012)

Looking for a movie to watch to further explore collaborating groups?
Click to see our business movie review:
The Late Quartet  (originally posted Sept. 2014)
The First Wives Club  (originally posted Dec. 2013)

Please feel free to comment on what happened during one of your collaborative efforts!


If you want to discuss this strategy or something you need assistance with,
please call Maggie (262) 716.7750 for YOUR No-cost Consultation.

Blessings of Success to YOU ~
Maggie Mongan, Brilliant CEO & Founder
Brilliant Breakthroughs, Inc.

Direct Dial: 262-716-7750
LinkedIn: Maggie Mongan

p.s.: Creating a collaborating team when forming a team. It may be one of the greatest gifts you and your group experience. Slow down a little on the front end of formation. It will significantly accelerate your team’s collaborative and synergistic performance and value.


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  1. Sounds wonderful! Back in my TV days, we did collaborate with synergy (before that word became a cliché!) Now in my corp world days, the word synergy was tossed around like a tiny boat in a mighty storm and with just as much effectiveness in guiding people towards a common goal! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if true collaboration were more the norm, instead of the exception!

    Keep educating people, Maggie, maybe someday will actually understand these simple yet complex concepts, get a clue and act accordingly! And the world will be a better place because of it!

    1. Thanks for the kudos Blake! sorry to hear that you are in a workplace that is creating teams under the illusion of synergistic groups. It’s all too common! I appreciate your encouragement to hold your the lantern high for others to see the path to the simplicity of business success. Cheers to you proceeding to create your business with your own genius spark shining brightly 🙂

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