We all know the great old adage “The sum is greater than the parts…”

We know how important it is to take a bird’s eye or sky view of our business to really make serious plans in moving forward. We know that all the bits together make up the success of our business: sales, marketing, admin, customer service, finance, etc.

Why separate the parts?

Do you like music? Do you enjoy a bit of Irish folk pop? How about the Corrs? They have been around a while and are world-known musically (all the band members have been awarded MBEs).

Well, they do make great music and the lyrics are not so bad either. But when they come together as a band, they provide amazing live performances. Three sisters and a brother contribute their various expertise, creativity and output to produce quite the show.

Why am I harping on about music? Well, bands are like a business too. They have to prospect, make sales, make money, make a profit in order to survive, grow and keep going. But they have eloquently demonstrated how the parts can be greater than the sum.

Here is a video of ONE song, performed by four different members of the band. The song is played four times in the video and shows each performer doing their own thing.

When you watch a video of any kind, you experience all of the elements and player in that video. Where a live performance is concerned, there is so much going on, we must only process the sum of the parts – the final output.

But watch the video please – put down your phone, turn off facebook and watch how parts contribute to the sum:

If you enjoy music as I do, you’ll be blown away by how different the song feels when watching the different versions.

If you don’t have 15 mins, then you can watch the beginning of each section as follows:

  • 0:00 Andrea Corr (vocals)
  • 3:44 Caroline Corr (drums)
  • 7:27 Sharon Corr (violin)
  • 11:10 Jim Corr (guitar)

The sum of the parts

This is how we imagine our business to work. It’s true: all of the pieces come together and we get paid at the finish line. But without attention to each part, the sum just doesn’t add up. We can set up all the parts of our business, but without due attention to each piece, the final outcome will not serve us: financially or holistically.

The fastest way to find out if the elements of your business add up to produce the services you wish to offer to your clients is to ask yourself this one question:

“Does this part of my business support the other parts?”

Et voila!

Pay attention, drill down when it’s appropriate and your business will work seamlessly.


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