I have been to a number of concerts with my wife, ranging from orchestra to single performers. Some shows have been off the charts amazing. In my opinion, the thing that makes shows this impressive is what I call orchestration. To orchestrate, according to dictionary.com, is to arrange or manipulate, especially by means of clever or thorough planning or maneuvering. I believe we can benefit from this idea of orchestration, as thorough planning, for our own events – musical or otherwise – and even in planning meetings.
Orchestration Tips for Impact
For some things, this level of planning is not necessary; if your goal is to achieve impact though, it’s worth it. Orchestration is thinking through the event or activity from beginning to end, and planning for each piece, for each moment, for each step in the process, thinking in such a way that steps blend so well together you create a thing of beauty. Here are a few application points you can take from a real orchestra:
- It is the responsibility of the conductor to guide the orchestra through a piece from beginning to end and to keep all players in sync. The team leader, or a designee, should be doing the same, guiding the team through execution toward the goal.
- An orchestra is generally guided by sheet music for the particular piece they are playing. A written plan with notes for every player will go far to help achieve a higher level of execution. Do the words “getting everyone on the same page” sound familiar?
- Just as there are a variety of instruments in the orchestra, there are a variety of people on your team with a variety of skills and resources. Design your activity such that each player can perform to their best.
- Practice! Work through things in advance; it will increase every player’s capacity to carry out their role in sync with other players. Also, in my world, many events repeat from one year to the next or multiple times per year. I consider each time I do the event as additional practice for the following year. In my debrief following the event, I take notes on what I can do better. Then I build that into my plan for the future.