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24 Aug 2014

One Plus One is Never Two

Every child learns from school that 1 + 1 = 2.  This may be simple, but it could also be the biggest lie that adults teach to children.

The truth is that 1 + 1 is never equal to 2.  It could be more than 2 or less than 2, but seldom 2. Two obvious reasons:

Synergy, or leverage, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If I have one idea and you also share your one idea with me, our ideas are more than two.  This is because we have both stimulated each other and we will have more ideas than we could think of.  That's why like-minded people like to be together, and birds of the same feather would flock together.
Dis-synergy, or negative leverage, where the whole is less than the sum of it parts.  This is because the coming of two things will bring issues like compatibility and thus bring down the total value.  If you and me come together we may have less ideas because we need to trash out our issues like personality.

In your workplace, how can you ensure that 1 + 1 is more than 2?  If 1 + 1 is equal to 2, there are no benefits of working together and we might be better off working independently.  The 5 ways to ensure 1 + 1 is more than 2 at work:
  • Teamwork, where TEAM means Together Everyone Achieve More
  • Systems and Technology, which will ensure that productivity growth is always there
  • Planning and Review
  • Incentives and Rewards, which will motivate performance
  • Strong leadership and management, which will ensure performance.  In 4 weeks time you can be a better manager in 4 ways, details at here

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