It’s a good metaphor for bosses

I really hope they don’t teach this kind of thing in good business schools:

Tuesday evening saw 130 novices take the stage at the Barbican to play a symphony in the space of 90 minutes!

The challenge ‘Orchestrate’, conceptualized by teambuilding pioneers Catalyst has been billed as a world first in corporate training. It’s a unique exercise that uses the symphony orchestra as a metaphor for the workplace, allowing non musicians access to real instruments, a conductor and an especially composed piece of music. Orchestrate reflects the idea of going beyond perceived limitations.

Both Eventia members and Catalyst clients immersed themselves in a challenge that seemed unrealistic at the outset but resulted in a full performance on the world famous stage of the Barbican Hall, home to the London Symphony Orchestra. The evening provided an opportunity for buyers and organisers to network; experience Orchestrate first hand and learn a little more about the iconic venue.

After the initial briefing by the conductor, participants were split into instrument ‘sectionals’ and trained in a variety of the breakout areas available. The finale performance was electrifying with many people genuinely surprising themselves at finding hidden talents.

Izania Downie, Executive Director, Eventia, said: “The evening was an overwhelming success with the team behind Orchestrate fully demonstrating its application as a powerful tool to engage delegates and bring inspirational company values to life.”

Is there a workplace anywhere in the Western world which is as lousy a model for how a workforce of educated, engaged and talented people ought to be led as is the typical symphony orchestra? It always amazes me just  how badly outsiders – even ones as smart as Peter Drucker – misjudge the true nature of the relationship between conductor and musicians.

I’m glad the participants at this event had a good time and "genuinely [surprised]  themselves at finding hidden talents." Maybe they even learned something. What they didn’t learn is what it’s like to play in a professional orchestra.


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