My guess is that anyone reading this is familiar with John and Paul … of Beatle fame? Right … that John and Paul. And this year marks the 50th one since they delivered their music and their magic to the US in person. You might also be aware that it was John and Paul who were the ones responsible for some of the most memorable Beatle classics. The famous partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney demonstrates the brilliance of creative pairs and is well documented in an article entitled ‘The Power of Two’.
The long-standing myth of the lone genius tends to distort the way creative work really gets done. John and Paul were so creative as a pair even if at times they appeared to work in opposition to each other. As the above article states, their collaborative partnership demonstrates two key benefits. First, that distance doesn’t impede intimacy, and is often a crucial ingredient; second, that competition and collaboration are often entwined. Our wanting to credit the individual for accomplishments tends to obscure the power of the creative pair. John and Paul epitomized this power. The magic came from interaction.
So this is interesting about the Beatles, right? Yet, what does this have to do you or me? The place that most of us make our music is often related to our careers and the jobs that we hold. The norm is that we are hired for a position because of knowledge and experience that we bring. We keep our nose to the grind stone and deliver. Often, our hope and intention is that doing a good job will be rewarded with remuneration, bonus and even advancement. What might happen to escalate our success if we were to collaborate with another within our organization? Think about it in these terms:
- What are the skills that I know I bring to the organization and excel at performing?
- What are skills that I can readily admit are not my strength yet would be an asset to me if I had them or access to them?
- How would collaboration with the right person challenge me to up my own game?
- What could success for me look like if I were to find a creative, collaborative partner?
- How would the right partner impact my thinking and the depth and breadth of the work we could create together?
- What could be the impact on my career in terms of moving up the ladder?
Doesn’t it behoove all of us to give some thought to the ‘Power of Two’ if we were one of them? What is the music we could make through collaborative creativity that would carry on through the ages? I have a feeling that the opportunities are there for the taking if only we can will ourselves out of our box to explore what’s possible. The way it has been is “Yesterday”. Going forward it’s the belief of “We Can Work It Out”. You think?