Synergy is a many splendored thing

7 Mar

It is a chilly Thursday morning–pre-sunrise, as I type.

The spirit moved me to take a whack at a stream of consciousness morning page, so I have stationed myself in bed, a cup of coffee and a cup of blueberry yogurt on my bedside table.

One simply cannot approach the written word without a beverage. My dog, Domino, is occupying her favorite spot on the bed, nursing a rawhide chewbone–her version of an after-breakfast aperitif. Meanwhile, my significant other lies beside me–not quite snoring, but performing a fascinating medley of breathing sounds which confirm he is both very much alive (Whew! I don’t have to bother putting the mirror under his nose to see if it fogs up) and asleep. Nearby, on the back of a chair, an orange cat–a very loving tabby named Alien Poodle (we call him Pooh for short) is washing his paws–the cat version of an after breakfast aperitif, as well as a cleansing ritual passed down through generations of felines–if you can call bathing in your own spit a form of cleansing.

When I write these morning pages blogs, I just try to go with the flow (a bit of the Tao) and just write whatever crosses my mind. Sometimes I check into my brain and find there is really pretty much nothing going on (a bit of the Buddhism) but usually there are thoughts bumping off the walls of the padded cell of my mind like (insert simile here…maybe something about rabbits or overly excited puppies?)

Lots going on in my head and in my life these days. Work. Lots of stuff going on there. For the most part, I do not write about work in my blog because a) I am a consummate professional who feels that what happens at work, stays at work, and b) I signed a confidentiality agreement and you think they won’t sue my ass?!

As you can see, my reasons for not writing about work run the gamut from a) to b), But what I can do is a word association game and throw out a few terms and phrases that come to mind when I think about my job right now: Change. Lots of change. (And I am not referring to the ceramic mug filled with accumulated loose change that I keep in one of the cabinets in my office)–I am talking about the “how dare they make significant changes, forcing me to (OMG) adjust” kind of change.  I am talking about words like “merger” and “realignment” and (just to keep things ecumenical after my previous mention of Taoism and Buddhism) dear, Jesus (a bit of the Christianity) “synergy.”

This is not a dig at my beloved employer, because they didn’t invent that word, but I hate the word “synergy.” I don’t really remember the moment someone slipped that one into the popular business lexicon, but one day, like a decade ago, people started throwing that word around like everyone knew what they meant and hey, isn’t this a fun word: Synergy!

My least fond recollection of this word is the time I was called upon to talk about something at an executive meeting (a meeting which I had never been invited to before because, well, I wasn’t an executive) and I actually felt my brain forming a sentence that then slipped right out of my mouth in front of the God, the CEO and everybody–“I am looking forward to this collaboration, I believe we have some good synergy there.”

Holy Crap! If I had been struck dead by a bolt of lightening at that very moment, I would have been completely happy. Instead, I must go through life, living with the harsh reality that I actually used the word “synergy” in a sentence in front of a group of people–just like that word is neatly tucked into my regular vocabulary. Oh, the humanity!

Don’t bother asking me what “synergy” means, because, in my experience most of the time, when someone uses that word, they are just throwing it in to spice up their talking points, without regard to actual definition.

Another form of the word is “synergism.”

Synergism is when two people achieve synergy at the same time.

“Was it good for you?”
“Good?! it was more than good. Baby, it was outside the box! I truly felt a paradigm shift!”

Ironically, after I finished typing the previous sentence, I noticed a pop-up window that had opened on my computer without any prompting from me. It turns out to be an add for Jimmy Dean sausage with a header that reads, FEELING THE GLOW YET?

No, Mr. Dean, I am not. But thanks for asking.

Since it is time for me to get ready to leave and spend time with the employer I love so very much, I will have to let this be the end of the line for this particular ride on the train of thought. Please disembark and remember to take all valuables with you. Thanks for riding with us today.

I hope your Thursday is synergistic!

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