Itay Talgam Maestro Programs

You will recall in my earlier blog, I describe the wonderful experience I had couple of years ago in Melbourne attending an Ansett Airlines training seminar. Today, I watched a similar wonderful video on TED of Itay Talgam on collaboration and leadership.

Music and leadership are two of my favorite themes.

Itay Talgam finds metaphors for organizational behavior  — and models for inspired leadership — within the workings of the symphony orchestra. Imagining music as a model for all spheres of human creativity, from the classroom to the boardroom, Talgam created the Maestro Program of seminars and workshops.

Talgam’s workshops aim to help everyday people develop a musician’s sense of collaboration, and a conductor’s sense of leadership: that inner sense of being intuitively, even subconsciously connected to your fellow players, giving what they need and getting what you need. It’s this art of listening and reacting in the moment that makes for a swinging jazz combo, a sublime string quartet, a brilliant orchestra — and great teams at work.

“An orchestra … gives the conductor an opportunity to create an organized sound with one gesture. Everything is about nuance, and Talgam showed what nuance can do.”

“A chaotic cloud of sound hangs over the stage, while the instrumentalists of the orchestra practice their different roles in anticipation of the beginning of the rehearsal. As the Maestro raises his  hand there is a moment of silence. The magic then commences – from the hundred instruments comes one clear, unified and powerful sound. Led by the silent Maestro, each individual musician plays in perfect harmony working towards the shared goal – a magnificent performance”.

The “Maestro programs” were founded on the belief that, in the orchestra as in the work place, music has the power to create community and reinforce shared values. Music embodies knowledge and innovation, individual effort and collective achievement, and offers a work-environment that is full of opportunities for excellence and self-actualization – same as any successful business.

Why is music a successful metaphor for business?
Making music, in whatever culture and context, concerns such issues as communication, listening, rhythm, technique, preparation, improvisation and interpretation, rehearsal and performance. Concerts all over the world bring before us a great variety of performing bodies: large and complex symphony orchestras, intimate chamber music ensembles and jazz groups. Examining the diversity of organizational cultures raise questions concerning collaboration in general, including the roles (or the lack of them) of conductors, composers, soloists and accompanists. Different aspects of music making can provide stimulating insights into familiar management concerns such as leadership, teamwork, creativity, mentorship and personal development.

A new vocabulary, self-exemplifying process, fun
As well as being an excellent metaphor, music also provides an exciting new vocabulary for addressing these concerns. Entertaining in itself, and conceived as remote from the concrete tensions of the participant’s work environment, it provides a ‘safe’, non-threatening atmosphere for discussion and self-reflection.

In the process of learning, the “Maestro” facilitator-conductor orchestrates the individual voices and ‘rehearses’ with the participants, maintaining constant dialog, maximum sharing of ideas and viewpoints, in a way that calls for and encourages active participation. Thus the process is self-exemplifying of its messages.


There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment