Ode to synergy.

by Todd Foley

I hated group projects in college and always tended to be very private with my work, never letting anyone see it before the final product was ready.

For that reason, I hardly let anyone see Eastbound Sailing until I was ready to publish, or even let them know that I was working on a novel. It had to be “just right.”

Oh, how things change.

Right now, I’m in the midst of several group projects. At work, I serve on the creative services team [an internal agency of sorts] as an editor and have the opportunity to be part of the branding/marketing team behind an upcoming national tour. Together with other writers, editors and designers, we’re sharing inspiration and challenging one another so as to nail down the perfect messaging and visuals with which to bring life to this event. It’s exhausting but life-giving at the same time.

In my personal work, I’m collaborating with two awesome people on an upcoming project – something I’ve never done before. This excites me beyond belief, and I look forward to sharing more details as they come along.

These are prime examples of synergy – the act of two or more people working together to produce something that would otherwise be unattainable by one individual. It’s equally fun, challenging and inspiring to work with others, which presents immense opportunities for growth. I’ll always be a loner at heart, but I love the chance to learn from my collaborators. Everyone is a life-long student; why not learn from each other?

What about you? Do you prefer to work alone or with others? Why?