Conducting Transformation: Creating a Culture of Excellence

Orchestrating Success is the Leader’s Duty and Delight

Orchestrating Success

The musical conductor steps on the podium, announces the selection and the place to begin the rehearsal, raises the baton, and gives the prep. What’s the prep? Read on…

The conductor is in front of a choir or orchestra with a clearly defined culture. This culture is one of excellence and of high functioning. Every participant is responsible for their own performance by participating fully in the culture. The musical ensemble is a well-defined culture of high-functioning participants.

The conductor is the leader of the ensemble and is able to function as an effective leader because the culture is clearly defined and everyone in the culture is a part of maintaining the discipline of the culture – setting and maintaining cultural norms.

The norm for the conductor is to conduct the music-making and not to force the music. The musicians know when to respond because the conductor provides cues. Everyone knows that count one is the downbeat, however, in order to be able to perform as the downbeat is given, the conductor gives a prep or preparation for the downbeat. In the prep, the conductor provides critical information to the performers:

  • Tempo – how fast or slow to play
  • Breath – when to breathe so that a note can be formed on time
  • Dynamic – how loud or soft to play is written in the music, and the conductor emphasizes it

The leader in non-musical settings can utilize the skills used every day by musical conductors, and reframe those skills for a corporate, nonprofit, religious, or educational culture if the culture is well defined.

Here’s an excerpt from David Gruder’s & Hugh Ballou’s Collaboration Culture Architects website:

According to Gallup’s Workplace Engagement Index, 70%+ of the workforce is “disengaged” or “actively disengaged” from their jobs. What does that say about how ineffective most corporate cultures are?

Your organization’s culture deficits are the reason you’re tired of people problems sabotaging your organization’s success.

Conscious culture creation is your solution if you’re done with high maintenance & underperforming people, work teams & departments sucking way too much time from you, your executives, your managers, & your HR department.

Conscious culture creation is your solution if you want to improve your bottom line by eliminating the massive profit losses that are caused by  work absence, stress-related illness, disengaged employees, and pilfering & fraud.

Conscious culture creation is your solution if you want these improvements to happen in ways that result in attracting better people, maximizing their productivity, and keeping them longer.

Welcome to the world of Purpose-Driven High-Performance Collaboration Cultures. Conscious cultures that dramatically increase employee engagement & productivity by creating organizations that the best people want to work for and remain with.*

It’s the duty and delight of the leader to shape and maintain a high-performing and collaborative culture.

* To read this excerpt in context or discover additional useful material, click here:


Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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Hugh Ballou (Author)