Why synergy management is the new soft skill in permacrisis times

Last updated: 10 November 2022

I recently changed positions to take care of synergy for Thales DIS and to mark the occasion, I wanted to share with you my personal reflection on this subject.

What is synergy?

Methodology behind implementing synergy in business

The term “synergy” comes from the Greek word, “synergos”, which means to work together. It refers to the interaction between two or more things whose combined efforts are greater than the sum of their own.

Synergy often has strong business connotations, especially in the post-merger phases between two companies. To explain as such, Capgemini Consulting captured in a visual the complexity of the objectives to be achieved and proposed a methodology to be implemented.

However, this is not the only field of application when it comes to synergy.

Synergy in practice

synergy in practice

  • In the arts, we often speak of alchemy:
    • just think of Paul McCartney’s melodies and the poetic lyrics of John Lennon
    • the tumultuous but productive relationship between Mexican painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera
  • In politics:
    • just think of the European Union and how it brings together the different complexities and needs of 27 countries in a single political union
  • In sports:
    • the addition of individual stars is sometimes not enough to win a cup. Instead it’s the cohesion and unison of the coach and team that ultimately leads to success
  • In love:
    • some would say a child is the result of a synergy

Synergy is everywhere! Since man has been man, synergy has been the basis of the success. But what do all these forms of synergies have in common?

Synergy is humanity’s weapon of mass success

6 ingredients for successful synergy

I have often said that business is first done between people, before the companies that they represent. The successful construction of a harmonious relationship between two individuals will determine the success – or failure – of the business.

Two experiences come to mind:

  • When I was a salesman at GlobeCast, I signed a contract with a new client worth several million euros for a solution that had never before been imagined, nor sold
  • Later, when in charge of the partnership with Facebook, I obtained an app developer agreement that had never been granted to anyone before

Each time, the following elements were awarded:

  1. Mutual trust and respect
  2. Active listening and passion to understand the motivation and needs of my interlocutors
  3. The desire to progress, collaborate and invent together (with both the client and within a team) a solution that benefits both parties
  4. Work, work and work to make it happen 
  5. Incorrigible optimism and the passion to think big. As French sociologist Edgar Morin says, “we must hope in the improbable, and work for the improbable”
  6. A little bit of luck to succeed

We must hope in the improbable, and work for the improbable
French sociologist Edgar Morin

Building a future we can all trust with synergy

If synergy is at the basis of the world, it also constitutes its future. Indeed, as the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, says, “we have stepped into an era of ‘permacrisis”.

Climate change, resource scarcity, energy transition and sobriety, demographic explosion, geostrategic tensions and armed conflicts, tensions within the global subcontracting chain and labor shortages are some of the global challenges to be met for humanity by the middle of the 21st century.

However, one thing is certain: human civilization is at a turning point and our individual and collective actions in the years to come will be crucial. No actor (country, society, institution, etc.) can claim to hold all the keys alone.

Faced with these challenges, only a pooling of intelligence and energy can succeed. The world has never needed synergy so much to function.

Enhancing synergies further at Thales

Since September 1 2022, I have been Head of Synergies Strategy and Marketing at Thales DIS.

This involves leading initiatives at the crossroads of the various Thales global business units, by creating common value propositions and testing them on target markets (Defence and Security, Aerospace, Space, etc.) via different methodologies (e.g. value proposition canvas, market research).

Thales DIS is resulted from, in a large part, the acquisition by Thales of Gemalto in 2019. Now fully integrated into the Thales group, Thales DIS is at the heart of a number of synergies with teams that can benefit from the know-how and leadership of Thales DIS in the areas of digital identity and data protection.

Our expertise can be broken down into five segments in which we are committed to building a leadership position:

Thales FlyToGate

One example of this cross-BU synergy is Thales Fly to Gate, a touchless, biometric pathway through airports which brings together biometrics, ID management, border control, security and airport system integrator.

I’d be glad to hear your thoughts – feel free to contact me or send us a tweet at @ThalesDigiSec.

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