Strength in Numbers…

As is the case with numerous other species, humans have known for thousands of years that there is strength in numbers.  In almost every society, everyone who is old enough to contribute, has a role that benefits the overall well-being of the tribe.  The most successful civilizations are those who have recognized the long-term benefits of collaboration, resulting in a mutually advantageous, or symbiotic, climate for all.

This is also apparent throughout the natural world.  Very few species exist in a solitary fashion, and those that do are likely comprised of apex predators. They are usually at the top of the food chain & have few to no threats.  They are likely in competition with their peers and would not really benefit from working or interacting with them.

Numerous species have realized there are various benefits to operating as a unit. Canadian geese fly and rotate positions in a V formation to conserve energy, allowing them to fly longer and farther. The V formation makes it easier for the birds to keep track of one another, and assists with coordination and communication within the group.

Within each wolf pack is an elaborate hierarchy, led by the alpha wolves, who are the primary decision makers. Pack members respect their positions and follow the alpha wolves’ leadership in almost all things. Strength in numbers is always apparent during the hunt. Working as a unit, the pack is able to take down animals that are much larger and sometimes faster than any individual wolf.

The fact of the matter is, we need each other.  You are more likely to survive if you have a sound support system.  Not only are you more likely to survive, but thrive.  This also holds true in the business realm.

Every business and institution is dependent on their relationships, interactions and collaborations with others. At every level, there is the opportunity and potential for synergy, which can magnify individual contributions. Regardless of whether or not your stakeholders are internal, external, or both, there are many advantages to establishing and maintaining healthy, mutually beneficial partnerships.

Perhaps you have a team of employees, a Board of Directors, committees, an Advisory Board, a volunteer base, or all of the above. These groups usually, or should, have an obvious common denominator or goal. The likelihood of reaching this desired outcome will increase as people come together, leverage and build upon their diverse skill sets. The more sectors that are represented, the more you can pool your resources and the greater your exposure will be. As positive success stories are generated, pride increases along with enthusiasm, and the momentum builds. Committed and energetic ambassadors have the ability to be your best and most credible spokespeople throughout the communities you serve.

As you reach out and invite others into your fold, you create the opportunity for synergism. The sum of the individual elements and contributions will produce a total effect that is greater than any one element. Whether or not there are materialistic aspects to the relationship is irrelevant. Pride, satisfaction, common ground and goals, as well as the accomplishment of those goals, are usually enough to keep participants engaged and motivated.

Symbiotic relationships are the strongest and most sustainable, as they are mutually beneficial to those involved. The clownfish is immune to the anemone’s stinging tentacles and regularly seeks refuge among them. The anemone also benefits from this relationship, feeding on the food particles left behind by the clownfish.   As you conduct your business, and the business of your daily life, think of ways that you can not only foster symbiotic relationships, but be a part of them as well.