“There’s strength in numbers.” It’s a familiar phrase to most of us. When I hear it, I immediately think back to the safety precautions we had to follow on elementary school field trips. Remember holding onto the rope as your kindergarten class toured a museum? What about staying with the group or following the buddy system when your class visited the zoo? While those childhood examples are the first that come to mind, it turns out that “strength in numbers” is a concept that has practical applications in the professional world as well.
If you’ve ever been tasked with finding a solution to a problem or developing a new process, you know how overwhelming that responsibility can be. You can be the smartest person in the room and still not have the best idea to solve a problem or fix what’s broken. In those situations, you realize there truly is strength in numbers. When you bring multiple minds together to work towards a common goal, you open up the potential for uncovering solutions from previously untapped sources. A group of talented individuals working together for a common cause can yield
incredible results none of them could have accomplished on their own.
As beneficial as working together can be, the collaboration process does involve a little risk. When you share your ideas in a group setting, there’s always a chance those ideas will face critique or be dismissed altogether. That’s why you occasionally hear phrases like “The best way to kill an idea is to bring it to a meeting.” Can we be honest? If an idea dies in a meeting, it probably wasn’t that great of an idea in the first place.
Some ideas sound solid in our heads, but only because we can’t look at them objectively. Third-party perspective can be incredibly valuable, but there’s a catch. You can’t access it without involving other people—which brings us right back to the concept of finding strength in numbers. If you assemble the right people and provide a creative environment for constructive meetings, you’ll increase your chances of seeing that strength work to your advantage.