3. May 2011 13:16
On my way back from the 44th Annual AONE Conference, I couldn't help but think about Roger Nierenberg's morning keynote presentation and how it had such a profound effect on me. I had the distinct privilege of spending a few minutes with Roger Nierenberg after his "performance" and I must confess that, one-on-one, he is even more engaging, even more genuine, and even more charismatic than the amazing personality we experienced as a group. His book sold out in minutes after his presentation, but you can find it here.
It was interesting to see how Nierenberg compared the role of a maestro to a nurse executive. I was so moved by his presentation, I felt obligated to share my experience with you. Although I learned much more than the four "movements" listed below, these were the ones that stood out to me the most. I am more than happy to share the rest of my list so feel free to email me at email@example.com.
In a complex organization, the "conductor" must remain attentive to the boundaries and divisions within and across the organization. Each member of the orchestra has a different view of what's happening. And even the conductor - who is at the center of it all - can only imagine the view of the audience members. It is his role to translate the audience's experience to each member of the orchestra.
When Nierenberg illustrated the importance of each and every person's contribution to the performance, no other point in his entire presentation affected me so deeply as when the cymbal player described his single note. He then went on to demonstrate just how critical that single note is to the entire New World Symphony. Though I couldn't see the percussionist after the second playing of that movement, I can imagine him sitting tall in his chair and whispering to himself, "Yeah, I did that."
Channels of communication
Communication has always been a critical component in any industry - whether it is health care or music. Nierenberg noted, "Awareness travels across boundaries. Communication travels across boundaries. Just as importantly, how each travels varies widely."
Regardless of how the communication flowed, there was one thing that was absolutely necessary… Listening!
Listening for problems vs. listening for building
Each member of the orchestra tunes into the conductor's priorities when the conductor draws attention to something that went particularly well or when something didn't go so well. The conductor can instantaneously sensitize the entire orchestra to that priority. With a simple nod or a motion, a tempo can be adjusted, an emotion emphasized or a negative reaction muted.
One must also realize that there is a difference between giving direction and offering criticism. Direction points to the way things could be. Criticism points to the way things were. It's the difference between, "The percussions are too loud" and "Let's make sure the audience hears the woodwinds".
In order to build trust, get results
The conductor offers a vision, and it is up to the musicians whether they follow or not. Vision requires preparation. It equates to creating a whole new experience and then communicating it. If the musicians execute the vision and things improve, then the artists begin to put their trust in the conductor. And ultimately, that is the only way one gains credibility.
Again, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you're interested in the remainder of my list.