The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Kim-ElishaPersonal MusingsLeave a Comment

This past weekend I was invited to join my friends at the Ridge Winery for the Monte Bello Assemblage event. This is the first time I’ve been to a wine event like this. My friend, an avid wine connoisseur, buys futures in Monte Bello wine. The event was an opportunity for members and guests (lucky me) to meet the winemaking team and taste barrel samples of the separate varietal components. We got to taste the 2013 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 100% Petit Verdot, 2013 100% Cab Franc, and the 2013 100% Merlot. I can say that most of them were not drinkable beyond a sip or two. The description most used was “too young”.

I personally love wine for two reasons. First, wine in my perspective is a perfect example of art and science collaborating and second, there is nothing like a bottle of wine to slow down life and turn eating into dining. With that said, I know some but not a lot. I learned quickly that I like what I like and that works for me.

Back to my story. The event had a sequence to the tasting with the final table being the assemblage that is the 2013 Monte Bello. To my delight the wine tasted like wine. Each 100% was often too much to drink more than a sip, but the assemblage was wine. I could see how it would be great in years to come. When we asked how they came to the percentages of each wine the winemaker said it was a blind taste test and samples of many assemblages. What a fantastic process!

Here again, art and science meet. In Organization Development (OD) my work is often and art and science. The assemblage event became a metaphor for me at work this week. I can see how each person at work is good, but together with the right mix of skills and team work we can be great, often doing more with less. Like the assemblage process we can’t say from the beginning what the best mix is, but with agility, testing and learning we can come up with a mix that displays the best qualities of all involved.

As a leader and an OD practitioner my role becomes one of knowing each person and how they can mix with others- so the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.

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