Facebook Twitter Google Digg LinkedIn StumbleUpon Email
There are certain terms MBAs use that, when seen in the proper context (real life), are meaningless.  In this series, we attempt to purge them from your vocabulary and provide useful alternatives.

Synergy, one of the most abused words in the English lexicon, started out life innocently enough as a way to describe a whole greater than the sum of its parts.  Its shocking rise in popularity since 1960 is due almost entirely to the rise of the corporation.  The word is synonymous with business.

Look out for “synergy” in your resume, accomplishment and leadership essays.  When you make your department more efficient, you are not “increasing synergy”, you're just making things work better.  New partnerships do not “create powerful interdepartmental synergies”, they improve the quality of your product or service, or they add a new one.  Worst of all is when people use synergy to describe relationships.  “I created a powerful new synergy between my previously feuding co-workers”.  No sir, you did not.  You got them to stop sending snarky emails back and forth.

Even if your usage of “synergy” is meaning-appropriate, consider whether it is context-appropriate.  Do you really want to address your reader with such formal, distant language?  Probably not.  

Forget synergy.  Instead, try its more homespun cousin, cooperation.

Don't be shy! Schedule a consultation to find out how we can help you.

Like us!

Twitter icon