Today’s bombardment of ideas requires an ability to synthesize — to spot relevant connections and innovative combinations in manufacturing.

We’ve talked about the ingredients required to have an Eagle Eye – how to rapidly spot key priorities and ensure results occur. There are so few people who put these qualities together effectively, it makes sense to explore it further.

One of the keys to success is the ability to synthesize. According to Websters dictionary, synthesize means “to form (a material or abstract entity) by combining parts or elements (as opposed to analyze)”. Have you met someone who can put the “right” ideas, people, project plans, strategies etc. together at the “right” time to “see” the big picture or solution? It can mean the difference between success and failure. Thus, I thought a few strategies to improve upon our ability to synthesize might be in order:

  1. Read voraciously – In order to be able to see connections and combinations, it helps to have a broad background. Be well-versed to start.
  2. Be observant – It is interesting how often you don’t see something until you look for it. For example, if you are thinking of buying a new car, have you noticed that you suddenly see all the car options on the road? Try being observant.
  3. Look for connections – Try looking for connections between people, places, items, numbers etc. Once you start looking, you’ll begin to see them.
  4. Look for trends – What is changing? Are things improving or declining? Every time x occurs, have you noticed that y follows? Catching these trends will help in your ability to synthesize.
  5. Take the time to think – There’s no way to synthesize unless you take the time to think about multiple streams of data, people, interactions, events etc. in conjunction with one another. Take a step back and begin to put it all together.