Archives: Ignites

Orchestrating the Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony of the Olympics is a wonderful exemplar of Orchestration in action. Orchestration, especially for events, is about weaving the pieces together in harmony to create an extraordinary Experience. This exquisite Orchestration comes from clarity of Intention and is never left to chance. During the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, Orchestration of the highest level was on full display. From the music and the clothing of the nations to the artful storytelling and the spectacular and innovative drone display. All went off without a hitch, or at least nothing that the audience was aware of. And the world came together as a unified whole to celebrate sport.

What would it mean for our organizations if we Orchestrated our care at this highest level? From the words we choose and the clothing we wear to the systems we use and the attention we pay to each and every interaction. What do our organizations Orchestrate well, and what might we make more cohesive?

Underwater Security

Dubai International Airport has Orchestrated a virtual security Experience in order to honor the safety, comfort, and enjoyment of its travelers as well as streamline the process. The airport’s old security checkpoint has been replaced with a virtual aquarium tunnel equipped with over 80 hidden cameras. As travelers walk through the tunnel enjoying a life-like aquarium Experience projected on the walls, the cameras will scan their face or iris to determine their identity and grant them permission to continue into the terminal. What was once thought to be an inconvenient, stress-filled portion of airport travel may now be one of ease and pleasure.

How might we reconsider some of the processes in our organization so that they cause less inconvenience or stress for our team members, providers, patients, and guests? How can we Orchestrate these processes for a better Experience?

Whole Foods, Whole Convenience

In select markets, Amazon Prime customers are able to have groceries from Whole Foods delivered with no fee in just two hours. Combining the quality products of Whole Foods and the mind-blowingly fast delivery operations of Amazon, this service demonstrates that when two seemingly separate organizations join forces, they can Orchestrate a memorable Experience. From 8AM to 10PM, customers are able to curate their charcuterie board the morning of their dinner party from the comfort of their own home. With yet another experiment in its effort to dive into food retail, Amazon continues to reshape everyday tasks and chores for the better.

What partnerships might our organizations consider to help Orchestrate better Experiences for our team members, providers, patients, and guests? Think outside of health care and outside the box.

650 Voices: “O Say Can You See… ?”

Last year, a spectacularly Orchestrated Experience by the hopeful voices of our youth brought spontaneous Joy and beauty to guests staying at the Hyatt Regency in Louisville, KY. More than 650 participants of a Kentucky state choir conference taking place at the hotel spread out on all floors of the hotel and joined together to sing a beautiful rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Despite there being 650 different voices on twenty different floors, the song can be heard clearly due to how well the conductor Orchestrates the group of young performers.

Many of our shared Experiences take place across a large space or within a large group. Consider the role of communication, visual cues, and the importance of leadership in Orchestrating these larger groups vs. smaller groups. What might we learn from each?

Tattoo the Future

What if doctors could monitor patients at home with the same degree of accuracy they’d get during a stay at the hospital? In this TED Talk, bioelectronics innovator Todd Coleman exemplifies Orchestration in health care for the good of patients and providers. He shares how wearable, flexible electronic health monitoring patches promise to revolutionize health care and make medicine less invasive.

In the Spotlight: Paul and Heidi Kushious on Orchestration

This month, we turn to experts in Orchestration, Paul and Heidi Kushious, and tune into one of the world’s greatest orchestras: The Cleveland Orchestra. Paul is a cellist, and Heidi is a flutist and solo piccoloist.

The Experience Lab (TEL): What does Orchestration mean to you and your work?

Paul Kushious (PK): It’s when one hundred or so highly trained individuals, whose skills have been refined largely in the solitary confinement of a practice room, come together to effectively create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Heidi Kushious (HK):
 I’ve played in professional orchestras for the past 34 years, and, for me, it’s a focus on the melding, Connecting, weaving, Storytelling, and the harmonic whole. I care most about the Connection between individual musicians’ parts that form the glue to meld together and gather momentum to LEAD to a specific phrasing goal together.

TEL: You each have a part you play in the Orchestra. How do you stay aligned and in harmony with the whole?

PK: The first task, subordinating one’s individual agenda, is the foundation of hearing and receiving from others in order to identify your contributions to the whole. Given the nature of our training, this can come as a great shock to young players. They often go through Stages of development, first rejecting what they are Experiencing, then accepting what they feel is a compromised reality, only to find satisfaction and Joy in joining the collective efforts of the group. As a veteran player, I have very high expectations of myself and my colleagues and consequently enjoy their playing as an extension of myself.  

HK: Good preparation is essential. I enjoy being a chamber musician, continually listening and crafting the phrase, even when the Orchestration is large and there are many musicians on Stage. My whole picture includes the musicians and their desire for excellence: striving for perfect intonation, concise rhythm, appropriate projection and voicing, and most of all… really feeling the music. I aim to set a standard for myself that I hope will inspire my colleagues to push beyond just playing the basics or simply getting the job done.

TEL: How would you describe the role of your conductor?

PK: The truly great conductors trust us to do our jobs. We reward that trust with extremely Personalized commitment. Our leader, the conductor, recently described our institution as “no longer a top-down structure.” I immediately told him I couldn’t disagree more. The rehearsal process demands a singular vision communicated quickly over the course of very few rehearsal hours per week to which we can all apply our individual talents. One hundred individual agendas would create chaos. Within that context, I find that I have enormous flexibility to imbue every note with detail and direction that I understand he expects of me. It also leaves room to create and LIVE by a lot of unwritten rules. I heartily welcome different approaches to the repertoire we play as long as the leader’s goals are communicated clearly.

HK: Musicians want to feel respected and have the conductor care enough to not only really know the score but Connect with eye contact and a sense of building something great together. The conductor should move in a way that makes the Orchestra move without thinking about it. We are able to move as the music moves us. It’s essential for us to have that Experience on Stage. Excellence and inclusiveness are the key to happiness as a player.

TEL: What advice do you have for our Experience Lab Partners from your perspective as a musician?

PK: COMMUNICATE! Almost every problem encountered is embedded in misunderstanding facts, Intentions, and goals. I would love a health care Experience that made me feel part of a team, not a medical ID number.    

HK: It’s really fascinating how the two worlds can be so similar. My advice is to always listen, make eye contact, think of others more than yourself, take worthwhile risks, find a balance, prioritize, conserve energy for important goals, prepare well in advance, and respect intergenerational knowledge. Keep practicing excellence, and the result will always be better and more meaningful.


Think inflection, not infection!

OK Go! Pull Out Your Dominoes

Last March, you received a box of dominoes in your Orchestration Action Kit. As we continue to build on our understanding of Orchestration, we invite you to bring them back out and try a new exercise to dig deeper into the connectivity of our roles.

Who’s Next? In your next idea session, have each team member grab a domino. One person begins a conversation. Whoever has a matching tile number goes next. Continue until everyone has contributed to the conversation. It’s a simple way to ensure everyone is heard.

Spotify Orchestration Playlist

We are adding to our compendium of music with this Orchestration playlist. Enjoy!

Principle: Connection

Human Connection is one of the most vital aspects of our existence. Connections range from the micro, simple eye contact or a smile, to the macro, leaders Connecting the big organizational dots. With each Connection, we have the opportunity to create long-lasting bonds and also become the needed bridges, helping people get from where they are to where they want or need to be. The opportunities to Connect small or large dots for and with others exist every day – and with each dot there is opportunity for deeper, more meaningful Connections. Each one of us has the opportunity to be the Connector.


The act of Connecting — with each other and with our Experience Intention — is the foundational building block of cultivating a more vibrant and alive culture. When we choose to establish strong and meaningful Connections with our team members, providers, patients, and guests, we nurture healthy relationships while strengthening and solidifying our leadership.

Every day we are seeing more and more ways that technology is enhancing or extending (or diminishing) Connection. We believe there’s really nothing better than the original human-to-human interaction. This intimate, person-to-person Connection is the way we get our best work done.  

How it fits into LEADING

Our role as leaders requires that we create personal and meaningful Connections between team members and with patients and guests, and perhaps most importantly, that we Connect those we LEAD to the purpose of our work and the vision for a brighter future. We can no longer simply study Connective tissue; we must become Connective tissue for our organizations. Once those bridges are established, we can move forward, creating additional Connections with the people we serve (our patients and guests), our processes, and our places. Creating Connections helps amplify our vision for creating a healthier organization and world.

Plan for Presence

Connection isn’t about the quantity of one-on-one time; it’s the quality of time spent that matters. Whether it is our inner monologues, higher priority concerns, or physical distractions, it can be challenging to Be truly present when spending time with our team members, providers, patients, and guests. But presence makes all the difference. When we’re fully present in our Moments spent with others, more can Be accomplished in less time and others can feel valued and listened to.

Over the course of the next few weeks, pick four conversations, meetings, or interactions in which our time and attention will be given in full. This means phone is on airplane mode, ears are tuned in, notes are Being taken, and a plan of action is created at the end of the time together. When we’re present with our team members and providers, Notice how they grow. When we’re present with our patients and guests, Notice how they trust and heal.