My son recently was ‘inaugurated’ as president of the University of Akron Graduate School Government. In the ceremony, the associate provost, Dr. Becky Hoover, shared her experience with the conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra from New York. This Grammy-winning orchestra has never had a conductor!
As one observer, David Pearce commented, “In a conductorless orchestra, the musicians have to make the decisions and agree on how they will play each part of a score,” he said. “That requires team emotional intelligence. The orchestra members have to relate to each other in a very mature way to get results, and everyone has to participate.”
Orpheus has garnered worldwide attention in the corporate sector for its unique approaches to creativity, innovation and self-management. The “Orpheus Process” is built on individual responsibility, shared leadership and workplace democracy, principles that are highly valued in today’s progressive corporate environment, Pearce said. These principles have enabled the orchestra to unleash the talent, vision, creativity and leadership potential of each member of the group, and brought the group international acclaim over the last 28 years.
This made me think of the introductory workshop offered through TregoED, Collaborative Decision Making for School Leaders in the education environment. It truly is the collaboration that makes this as distinctive as the critical thinking skills we teach. Collaboration is the way the world works – or should work! As part of 21st century workplace readiness, collaboration is at the top of the list. So, how often do you intentionally collaborate? At work, at home, your place of worship? And, how often do you encourage others to collaborate? Identify those times where collaboration will add value, both to you, personally, as well as those with whom you will collaborate. Watch and see how the results are more than you could have imagined. You just might have a conductorless group in your environment!