“The whole is more than the sum of its parts” – Aristotle
I have been reading the Covey book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” which is roughly half devoted to how to work together with other people. The other half (the first half) is how to best work alone. The book states that the improvement of being part of the whole can lead to a 20 – 50 times increase in productivity. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to have 20 – 50 times more of almost anything. That’s part of why I’m reading the book. It’s also a reason I joined SDA though I probably didn’t think about it that way at the time. I’m fairly good at self-organizing and working independently but having resources available to me when I need support makes me realize that Aristotle was on to something.
This quote reminds us that what one can do, many can do better. The idea is used heavily in synergy and gestalt. It is also used by people like me looking for something somewhat cryptic to say to sound smart. Regardless, in human terms, it is about being more by being part of something bigger. One person can do a lot, but more people can devote themselves to different tasks—no one person has to do everything anymore.
The value SDA membership has given me is the resources I needed to grow within my role. Respectively, the value my membership has brought my firm has led to the development of best practice policies for the benefit of everyone I work with: implementation of a document retention policy; updated employee handbook policies; continuing education; and more. Though I could have done it alone, I didn’t have to.
SDA provides a platform for each of us to share our knowledge, our skills and our experience with each other. Whether you call it synergy, teamwork or something else, there is something special that happens when we work together towards a common goal. That is the best application for the quote above. Together, we are SDA. We have a drive inside us to move forward. We do great things together that benefit ourselves, each other and our industry. Here are a few ways you can be part of something larger:
What will you commit to doing to help yourself and others be more than they are now? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Anne McNeely, CDFA is the Project Administration Manager at Fentress Architects in Denver, CO.
She currently serves as the SDA National Secretary for the 2019-2020 term.