Go buy all the individual parts of a Ferrari, thousands of them, down to the nuts and bolts, and the cans of paint needed for that glossy finish (which are you, red, black, or yellow - or maybe dark blue?), and then pile all those parts in your driveway. You won't as a result have a great car that you can take for a spin around the block. You'll just have a big pile of stuff. The parts have to be connected and then have to work together well for you to have a functioning classic high end sports car. They have to perform in harmony.
I wrote about harmony already this week, but felt that another post could be beneficial. Two Part Harmony seems apt, after all. In the previous post, I pointed out that a whole of any kind (a face, team, or as here, a car) can be greater or lesser than the sum of its parts, and that the secret sauce determining whether the parts are augmented or diminished in their assemblage is harmony.
Harmony is something we hope for, in our lives, our businesses, and our families. At work, we try to gather the best people we can, and then hope that they'll act harmoniously toward shared goals. But of course harmony should be sought from the start, and not just desired in the end.
Don't just hire for individual talent, or even greatness. Hire for diverse, dynamic fit. Hire for harmony. Some companies do it already. They have job candidates interviewed by the people they'd be working with. Everyone has an eye on the issue of harmony. How will we work together? Will we mesh?
Harmony is often used as a synonym for consistency. But it may go even deeper. Imagine two guitarists playing all the same notes in perfect rhythm. They're consistently matching each other, note-for-note. Now imagine them playing in harmony. When I was in grad school at Yale, I used to go down the road to a great guitar store every afternoon for an hour or two and play with an outstanding studio guitarist named Tommy. He had taught me Chet Atkins style finger picking. I'd play a song, bass and melody, and he'd play in harmony with what I was doing. The sound that resulted was amazing. What he was doing was far more than merely playing in a way that was consistent with what I was doing. It was enhancing the sounds immensely.
Think of the spices in a great dish. You want more than consistency. You want them to work together and mutually enhance each other harmoniously. That's what we want in life and in our work. Think about what that means right now in what you're doing. How can you introduce more real harmony into it? How can you play it to make it sing?