Category: Leading

Orchestration in Action
”Action without orchestration is burn out; orchestration without action is
management; action with orchestration is leadership.” 
― Orrin Woodward

Finding The One Moment

This mind-blowing video, “The One Moment,”  from Chicago rock band OK Go shows more than musical Orchestration – it shows life’s Orchestration. OK Go’s thoroughly crafted music videos paired with upbeat, catchy songs tend to go viral immediately when they hit YouTube. They have a knack for striking a chord in humans right along with their musical chords. With more than 25 million views, this video and its Rube Goldberg-machine-inspired wonder is well worth the watch.

The song behind this incredible video digs into something deeper that parallels perfectly with the visual cues. Frontman Damian Kulash explains in the video’s credits that the song is a “celebration of (and a prayer for) those moments in life when we are most alive. Humans are not equipped to understand our own temporariness; it will never stop being deeply beautiful, deeply confusing, and deeply sad that our lives and our world are so fleeting. We have only these few moments. Luckily, among them there are a few that really matter, and it’s our job to find them.”

When we are the leaders, or conductors, of the work we do every day, we have the potential to surprise ourselves and our team members alike. How can we Orchestrate surprise and child-like wonder into some of our everyday processes?

Coffee that’s Creating Buzz

San Francisco-based Philz Coffee isn’t just perfectly Orchestrating their own customer journey, they’re staging the internal customer journey as well. Purveyors of “slow coffee,” that is hand-brewed to order, Philz has disrupted our expectations of the coffee-ordering and drinking Experience.

They’re also disrupting the traditional journey of their internal customers – their employees – by Orchestrating a whole new kind of application process. Applicants are invited to make a video and answer the question “why do you want to work at Philz?” Philz’s aim is to encourage applicants to share their stories and add more personalization than could ever be captured on a resume. When candidates make their videos, they feel a more meaningful, personal Connection with their potential future employer. For a company with a mission of “bettering days,” helping applicants Connect to and enjoy the hiring process is the perfect Orchestrated Experience.

How might we extend a well-Orchestrated Experience from our customers (patients and guests) to our team members?

Transparent Leather

What do we do after facing a scandal? “Throw open your doors and share your guts” might not be oue first choice, and yet it was for Detroit-based Shinola, a luxury leather retailer. In order to keep their customers and earn back their trust, they added a small, glassed-in workshop to their Detroit flagship to promote transparency around how their products are made. Then Shinola went a step further to ensure they were transparent to all of their customers

Using the power of virtual reality and celebrity influence, Shinola Orchestrated a 360-degree tour of its main factory in Detroit featuring actor Luke Wilson to encourage all customers to look into the “guts” of the company. Aligning their brick-and-mortar goal to be transparent with customers with their international online customer base required Orchestration across locations and across platforms, but it paid off. Shinola remains one of the most sought-after leather goods companies in the nation.

Orchestration as a Leader
”You can’t play a symphony alone. It takes an orchestra to play.” – Navjot Sidhu


Let’s explore our final LEADING principle, Orchestration. An orchestra is a beautiful metaphor for Experience Design, as we are all players in the symphony of healing. As leaders, we are the conductors. We set the Intention for how our teams or organizations move forward, and we cultivate the success of those surrounding us. We set the tempo, bring the strategy or score to life, make adjustments to tone and feeling, and inspire individuals to create a harmonic whole. It is a role that takes constant attention and care, a role that requires us to recognize the part that each individual plays and what gifts and talents they bring to the greater result.

Orchestration and the Symphony of Healing

This month, we dive into the concept of what it means to Intentionally connect-the-dots to ensure a seamless, harmonic, Orchestrated Experience. We also explore the parallels of music and conductors. How does a conductor LEAD without speaking? What are some of their techniques for bringing out the best in their musicians? How is the whole of a symphony greater than the sum of its individual instrumentalists?

We will also look inward at our own organizations. Neither are we defined by a single “instrument” or “musician”— our brilliance comes from our physicians, nurses, technicians, and administrators working together as a harmonic whole. We are defined by the Experience created by our entire Orchestra of virtuosos. Though one violinist may be the very best in the field, it’s the coming together of all instruments that makes an orchestra magical. So it is for us—a bedside caregiver is only as great as the many experts who come together in service for that patient.

How to Lead Your Orchestra

There are invaluable lessons to be learned from conductors, and—in this piece — author, thought leader, and publisher Michael Hyatt shares the eight lessons that he gleaned from renowned conductor Hugh Wolff. These simple insights can be applied to all of our work as leaders of teams: we must have a plan, recruit the best players, make our work visible, LEAD with our hearts, delegate intelligently, be aware of our gestures and impact, keep our backs to the audience, and share the spotlight.

LEADING in this way creates a harmony not only in the way we work but also in the way our work is seen and understood. Whether we lead a team of business minds or health care practitioners, these eight guidelines ensure our success among our team members and hearken back to beginning with Intention and finding ways to Connect the work to the people behind the work.

How are we conducting our teams? What might we be saying without speaking? When is the last time we openly shared the spotlight?

Orchestrating 100% Participation in Meetings

Let’s reflect on the meetings within our organizations. Are meetings conducted with 100% participation from all team members? What is the dynamic?  Do any players regularly dominate in the gatherings?

Just like conducting an orchestra, conducting a meeting requires the leader to bring together the unique talents of each individual player for the desired outcome.  Meetings need clear Orchestration and this article proposes 5 key questions leaders should  ask and answer  to get everyone to play a part and contribute 100% to the meeting outcomes.

  1. How come some members hold back?
  2. What prevents them from participating?
  3. What part do they play on the team?
  4. What unique talent or strength do they possess?
  5. Are they aware of their strengths?

The questions aren’t linear and any one yes leads to another question worth considering. It is less important how much someone contributes as it is that each participates at the crucial moment that their specific input is needed and valued.  As leaders, we Orchestrate the flow of meetings and ensure everyone has a meaningful part to play in the cohesive whole.

Connecting Point B and Point L
”In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.” – Brené Brown

One of These Dots is Not Like the Other

Using disparate examples of football, transportation, and security, this Forbes article delves into the power that Connection has on the road to innovation. Connecting unexpected elements of our industries (e.g. Uber’s Connection of smartphones to freelance drivers) paves the way for brand new opportunities to build trust and loyalty with customers. Connection is a powerful leadership tool – leaders must serve as the vision between point B and point L even though our gut instinct is not to connect the two. Through Connecting seemingly unlike dots, we find new purpose and new solutions.