Three questions to transform your teams
Utter the words ‘classical music’ and some people will immediately switch off. But according to Julian Lloyd Webber, as the new principal of the Birmingham Conservatoire, the phrase should be banned.
“We’re talking about 500 or 600 years of music, all in different styles,” he was reported as saying in The Independent. “How can you compare Purcell with Philip Glass and everything in between?”
And so, as he oversees the construction of a new £46m campus, he hopes to create a space where musicians of all kinds can cross-fertilise their practice, working with rock and jazz musicians to allow their compositions to move beyond Beethoven sonatas.
Not that there’s anything wrong with becoming a master, far from it. But there are lessons for businesses to learn from Lloyd Webber’s comments. Here are some questions to consider.
What language are you using? How do you use language to describe what you do in your business? Are there any phrases in your organisation which hide nuance and diversity, that could be reconsidered or replaced?
How are you encouraging collaboration between teams? Do different groups within your organisation ever at least cross paths or at best collaborate? It needn’t involve a multi-million pound new facility – maybe a shift around of furniture, or more social events. What creative inspiration and innovation could come by creating opportunities for your colleagues to speak with people from different disciplines within your own organisation?
What stories can you share of teamwork done well? Where in the past have collaborations between different teams worked well? Just as classical musicians can point to the influence of folk music on Vaughn Williams, and jazz on George Gershwin, what stories could you tell of how this has worked before in your business, to make it part of the ongoing strategy of your organisation?