This is the last in a series of columns on Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and what they mean for information professionals. You may read all of this series at

Synergy, the sixth Habit, is very much like the musical term "ensemble," which means to play together as a single entity. Stephen Covey calls synergy the "essence of principle-centered leadership."1 I call synergy the essence of the effective information age organization. Peter Drucker describes the new leadership paradigm as the symphony orchestra model.2 Management can no longer lead organizations by managing up and down the business functions or the silo organization structures that end up competing with each other. Rather, management must lead the enterprise as a symphony orchestra conductor leads the symphony - as a whole, not as many different "silos" of musical specialists. In music, synergy is called "ensemble," meaning everyone plays "together" as a single whole, not as a group of prima donna soloists. This is synergy.

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