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The Power in the Harmony

Posted By: Randy GageApril 15, 2015

Watch shows like The Voice when a coach is singing with their team. Usually it’s a solid performance, but pretty predictable...

The coach sings the first verse, then a team member sings the next one, the next team member sing the next one, and so on. Most boy band or girl groups are the same, with each guy or gal taking turns. It’s “fair,” and everyone gets their equal chance to shine in the spotlight. But that isn’t what creates beautiful, breakthrough music…

The power is in the harmony.

The Beatles created music history because of their brilliant harmonies. All the great vocal groups that followed like The Grassroots, Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds, or the Righteous Brothers made their magic by harmonizing with each other.  In my opinion, some of the best new music today features harmony created between singers and rappers, like the new track from Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney.

So what’s the lesson in that for business and success in general?

I know the lesson for me. About once a month I get a brilliant idea that I want to announce to my team leaders and put into immediate practice for my organization. I’m a smart guy with good marketing instincts, so my ideas are usually pretty good. But they’re never as good as the ones that come when I bounce them off the group.

So instead of implementing something from the top down, I get everyone on a Google hangout to discuss my idea, and see what ideas they have. The brainstorming and collaboration always produces something superior.  Often it's a better version of my idea.  Other times my idea is DOA and the power of the group harmony creates something quite different.

One of the most intriguing trends in business today is the organizational structure known as Holacracy.  It sounds pretty scary to me, which makes me want to explore it even more.   It really grabbed my attention when Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh sent a memo to all 1,500 employees to embrace self-management in equal work groups or resign by the end of the month. Whether that will really work in a large organization like that remains to be seen.  But kudos to Hsieh for having the guts to try it, and the faith in teamwork and collaboration.

So what’s the lesson for you?

What’s the area where you’re singing solo right now – that would be better in harmony?

-RG

12 comments on “The Power in the Harmony”

  1. WOW... This is a huge step from the norm in a business of this side. This type of system looks like EVERYONE is going to be responsible for their efforts and there is no place to hide. As with different forms of management can hide under preforming people and it takes longer to flush them out of the system.
    This is a very interesting and I can wait to see how this pans out.
    As Always, Here's to Your LifetoSuccess,
    God Bless You,
    John Clark, http://www.lifetosuccess.com

  2. To be specific, the area is the next horizon in storytelling that while not brand new, delivers content to the audience when and how they desire it while allowing them to choose a level of participation or simply remain a spectator.. this is Transmedia Storytelling. That said, I'm finding most artists involved in visual storytelling resistant to change which as we all know is pretty normal. So I'm singing solo when I clearly need a band to harmonize, collaborate and brainstorm.. there's SO much we can do which will include adding value in the process. How's that RG?

  3. Very interesting and with broad application.  Love it. Thank you for providing so excellent food for thought as you always do. 🙂

  4. StevenWayneJohnson Jonathan1 The harmony I speak of is similar to what Randy has said meaning a collaborative, creative effort to tell stories that bring value, entertain and more importantly are delivered across multiple platforms that the audience will access at their discretion. And no I'm not taking about producing music, which as an industry veteran, I'm quite familiar with 🙂 Hope that answers your response Steve.

  5. For me it's similar to what Edison did to speed up the rate of research into developing the electric light bulb. He realised that he couldn't do all the research himself so he engaged scores of students (I think it was) to handle different sections of the research. In other words, "Many brains make light work" (no pun intended). 🙂 Another example is Andrew Carnegie's mastermind group explained in "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill.

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  • 12 comments on “The Power in the Harmony”

    1. WOW... This is a huge step from the norm in a business of this side. This type of system looks like EVERYONE is going to be responsible for their efforts and there is no place to hide. As with different forms of management can hide under preforming people and it takes longer to flush them out of the system.
      This is a very interesting and I can wait to see how this pans out.
      As Always, Here's to Your LifetoSuccess,
      God Bless You,
      John Clark, http://www.lifetosuccess.com

    2. To be specific, the area is the next horizon in storytelling that while not brand new, delivers content to the audience when and how they desire it while allowing them to choose a level of participation or simply remain a spectator.. this is Transmedia Storytelling. That said, I'm finding most artists involved in visual storytelling resistant to change which as we all know is pretty normal. So I'm singing solo when I clearly need a band to harmonize, collaborate and brainstorm.. there's SO much we can do which will include adding value in the process. How's that RG?

    3. Very interesting and with broad application.  Love it. Thank you for providing so excellent food for thought as you always do. 🙂

    4. StevenWayneJohnson Jonathan1 The harmony I speak of is similar to what Randy has said meaning a collaborative, creative effort to tell stories that bring value, entertain and more importantly are delivered across multiple platforms that the audience will access at their discretion. And no I'm not taking about producing music, which as an industry veteran, I'm quite familiar with 🙂 Hope that answers your response Steve.

    5. For me it's similar to what Edison did to speed up the rate of research into developing the electric light bulb. He realised that he couldn't do all the research himself so he engaged scores of students (I think it was) to handle different sections of the research. In other words, "Many brains make light work" (no pun intended). 🙂 Another example is Andrew Carnegie's mastermind group explained in "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill.

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