Synthesizer or Editor: Practical Application

March 10th, 2015 || No Comments

Part 3 of 3 – this is the last of a 3-part series. Visit the previous posts to read part 1 and part 2.

Effective teams, career, and happiness

So maybe you’re not da Vinci or a musician. Let’s make the small jump to the world of technology for real-world comparisons.

The product manager, a skilled crafter of business models and product roadmaps, needs to be strong on synthesis, and supported by skillful editors, often business analysts, capable of delivering actionable business requirements.

Take a look at software development:

  • Technical solutions begin with some form of applicable technology structures, conceived (synthesized) by the technology architect.
  • Initial concepts are skillfully and meticulously edited through the software development process via software developers, database administrators, and quality assurance.
  • This combination allows the cross-functional team to deliver an innovative business solution that provides quality, security, performance, scale, and change flexibility, all while conforming to pragmatic total cost of ownership and operational constraints.

Understanding the differences between synthesis and editing, as well as how they work together, can help a business leader strengthen his organization by establishing and positively reinforcing both. In the right positions, arranged in complementary roles, the resulting organization operates smoothly by nature and not by discipline.

In such cases, team members find it intellectually challenging and fulfilling at a personal level, collaborating for successful results.

What happens if this structure is ignored?

By ignoring the natural alignment between synthesizers and editors—instead making role-based decisions on other factors (e.g., politics, pay scales, esoteric credentials, and egos)—the unpredictable distribution of synthesizers and editors across the organization will inevitably create unintentional friction and gridlock.

Unfortunately, the balance between these two personas is ignored far more than it is acknowledged. I’m sure you can recognize and relate to these feelings from less-than-fulfilling work experiences of your own.

Are you a synthesizer or an editor?

As with all behavioral metrics, there is no “right or wrong”, “better or worse” classification being proposed; it’s simply a pragmatic matter of evaluating which side of the continuum you have the strongest affinity for, and then weighing that factor properly when making decisions (for yourself, or your staff, or even your entire organization).

The hypothesis here seeks to help you examine your own strengths and weaknesses and decide for yourself whether you are fundamentally an “S” or an “E,” and then align yourself with the appropriate balance of others to attain the consistent and rewarding work environment where we can all reach our greatest potential.

Are you a synthesizer or an editor? How have you seen the two roles at work—or at odds? Please share your experiences in the comments.

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