Workplace Experience – Symphony of an Organization

“There really is no other profession where you can go watch someone’s life’s work play out in front of your eyes”

“Going to a symphony concert makes you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself”

“What I love most about attending symphonies and live music, is how enraptured you can become in the experience”

What you read above are a few experiences of the audience mesmerized by stirring symphony performance. A symphony by definition is an elaborate musical composition performed by a full orchestra. It is interesting to see how this intricate performance, which is made to appear effortless, gives such a beautiful experience. This outcome results from the unison of the conductor’s vision, musicians’ engagement, and well-crafted notes combined with years of practice. In order to give the audience such a performance, it is important to first create a good backstage experience for everyone involved.

The whole concept and functioning of a symphony orchestra resonate well with an organizational setting. In essence, the symphony orchestra is a miniature version of an organization, where the leader is able to articulate his vision through carefully crafted goals and empowers key players in their role to achieve the desired outcome. There is a lot for an organization to learn and imbibe from an orchestra performance to create the right workplace experience and here is how we see the synergies

Leaders: The conductor of the orchestra is like a leader in an organization, who leads the performance. The orchestra conductor leads from the front, unifies the orchestra, sets the tempo, and shapes the sound of the ensemble.  In a similar fashion, the leader of the organization through his conduct and behavior creates experiences that shape the final outcome in terms of the organization’s performance. A good leader needs to have the emotional maturity and the right entrepreneurial style to motivate and engage the team.

“Leadership is action not position”

–Donald M.McGannon

People: The ensemble of the orchestra is akin to the employees in an organization. Selecting the right musician and retaining them is key for a good performance but what is even more critical is the fact that they are completely engaged, motivated, and excited when they are in the system.

“Treat employees like they make a difference and they will”

– Jim Goodnight, CEO, SAS

Engaged employees are an outcome of the right workplace experiences which in turn is dependent on basic culture parameters such as Accountability, Enablement, Wellbeing, Organization Alignment, and Communication. An organization needs to take action on the basic parameters and then move forward as the cultural maturity of the organization increases

Policies and Processes: The note displayed in front of each musician in an orchestra is similar to policies and processes in any organization. If they are not well written or have a lot of ambiguity then the final outcome will get affected. Musicians rehearse, discuss and give suggestions while the symphony is performed. But once it is crafted, the notes become the bible that everyone adheres to on the day of the performance.

“Making the process better, easier, and cheaper is an important aspiration, something we continually work on but- it is not the goal. Making something great is the goal.” 

― Ed Catmull, President, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios

The policies and processes of an organization should be formed in unison with the employees. Their views and opinions should be considered and once made the policies should be applicable to all without any bias. The intent of the organization gets highlighted through the way these policies and processes are formed and later executed.

Like an orchestra, the success of any organization is not a destination but a journey. What makes this journey unforgettable are the experiences that an organization keeps creating for itself and for others. Leaders and policies/processes of any organization are the main building blocks of these experiences. Just as one musician playing out of the tune ruins the experience of the symphony, a bad employee experience ruins an organization’s productivity, customer experience, and revenue to name a few. At Culturro, we help your organization create experiences similar to the ones created by a symphony.

Comments are closed.