Sunday, 9 February 2014

Create and contextualise virtuoso teams

The Concerto Grosso was a very popular form of music during the Baroque period (1600 – 1750). It contrasted a small group of instruments with a larger group. Corelli’s Twelve Concerti Grossi Op.6 are a good example.

Each of the instruments within the small group played very complex and demanding music and the interplay between them could be fascinating and immensely stimulating, the overall effect amounting to very much more than the sum of the parts.

The small virtuoso group also presented new and creative ideas as the music progressed, whilst the larger group interjected regularly by repeating the same memorable idea each time. Thus new ideas were introduced and developed within the context of a coherent and re – assuring structure: the repeated theme acting as a milestone or landmark that ensured the music did not lose direction and become confused.

It is a fact that most great innovations and breakthroughs are seldom the work of one person. It is teamwork that put a man on the moon and it is collaboration between expert or ‘virtuoso’ individuals that will help us address the complex issues and problems that lie closer to home.

And it is those virtuoso teams that work within a reassuringly coherent framework that will maintain their focus upon what is important and generate the most valuable ideas.

The next time you are presented with a tricky or challenging problem assemble a virtuoso team of players that possesses the wide range of skills needed to address it effectively. Allow each team member to play their part in tackling the problem and encourage them to interweave their ideas with those of others.

Remember to set the team’s work within a recognisable context or structure. Identify the constant and significant refrain that the team’s work needs to be set against and judged by, and make sure that it plays a sufficient part within the team’s overall performance. Your team will then invent not only fascinating ideas but also attractive, feasible and effective ones.

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