The end result of successful team building is synergy and symbiosis. That essentially means that the sum of teamwork is greater than the parts of the team. In business terms, this means that the return on an investment is greater than the contributions made to that investment.

An investment portfolio might be comprised of ten different stocks, for example, worth a total cost basis of $1,000. But if those stocks are diversified with the right balance of growth, income, dividends, solid blue-chips and aggressive IPOs or high-tech upstarts, the basket of stocks could – and should – wind up being worth many times its original cash investment.

But any seasoned investor, team coach, or marriage counselor knows that synergy and symbiotic relationships are not always positive and progressive. Buy a bundle of stocks with poor fundamentals and it can be the fastest path to poverty, just as buying assets that have positive potential can be the fast track to wealth and early retirement.

When a bad apple goes into a barrel of good apples it can set off a chemical reaction that quickly spoils that whole bushel – and the same goes for teamwork. Put together a team in the wrong way and the concept of the end result being greater than the parts still applies, except that it translates into losses, not gains.

The principle behind this magic relies upon the science of human interaction and the theory and philosophy of team physics. Just as we can combine the force of electricity with the phenomenon of magnetism and create an electromagnetic generator – that then produces an abundance of useful electricity all by itself – it is similarly possible to put two people together and get results that would not otherwise be possible.

Combine two or three people with the right amount of vision, thoughtfulness, and careful planning and we can sometimes accomplish more than we might with dozens of people who are not insight-fully selected and paired together. People have chemistry, and if we combine that natural chemistry one way we get an explosive, disastrous outcome from opposite polarity. Combine it in another way and we get increased energy, vitality, and success from magical magnetism.

To build a superior team, it is important to begin with the raw fundamentals and then create the recipe for success from scratch. Baking a cake is just kitchen chemistry and culinary physics, after all, and a chef may be an expert at making apple pie but get completely different and unwanted results from using pie-making experience to create a cake. Both desserts are in the same basic ballpark, but it is a mistake to think that one can be made from the same ingredients used to make the other.

The ingredients and aspects of the team are what contribute to the overall results that accrue from the fact that when it comes to teamwork, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.

Cover image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/53344659@N05/4978423837/