…which has forged a successful recording and performance career without the need of a conductor. Their group is not leaderless, members are keen to emphasize; rather, the leadership role shifts among them within a performance and even within a piece. Echoing Peter Drucker, the author writes, “The Orpheus approach may be the harbinger of leadership trends to come in the business world.”
I love this example of putting power in the hands of the people doing the work, yet I’m still a little skeptical about how much your average classical musician wants to be on the board and schmooze with rich patrons to keep the endowment funded. Still, I’d like to experiment with the model in businss environments, especially in employee-owned companies.
The Orpheus Process is built on eight principles:
- Put power in the hands of the people doing the work.
- Encourage individual responsibility for product and quality.
- Create clarity of roles.
- Foster horizontal teamwork.
- Share and rotate leadership.
- Learn to listen, learn to talk.
- Seek consensus (and build creative systems that favor consensus).
- Dedicate passionately to your mission.