Visualizing the high performance organization

Many of us who have spent significant time working with large organizations, are motivated by a sense of respect and optimism for the power of teams to achieve big, valuable objectives. But it can be surprisingly difficult to talk about this respect and optimism, to others.

The symphony orchestra is a modern cultural foundation that clearly demonstrates the amazing ability of humans to organize, through  communication, coordination, horizontal structure and individual responsibility. The orchestra has 1000 years of history, and is driven by technical evolution.

Enterprise systems, systems that facilitate the work of large organizations, are much less about actual technology than about the people that use them. Enterprise systems really are focal points for the coordination and cooperation of groups of people. They are literally the digitization of consensus. It’s not about the technology, it’s about the real evolution of the ability of large numbers of people to work together.

As an example of the parallel between EIS and the orchestra, listen to the following section of the last movement of Beethoven’s ninth symphony, performed by Chicago. Turn up the volume. Imagine the organizational analogy in your business.

The section is here.

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