Be Creative: Compose a Symphony

By Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D.

In his brilliant book, A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink writes that leaders need to move away from the notion of focus. Just as a composer and conductor know that parts of orchestras need to play together, it is the entire orchestra that sounds magnificent. Symphony, Pink says, is the ability to grasp the relationship between relationships and is a vital skill for the conceptual age in which we live.

One practical suggestion Pink makes is to “turn your bulletin board into an inspiration board. Each time you see something compelling—a photo perhaps, or the page of a magazine—pin it to the board. Before long, you’ll start seeing connections between the images that will enliven and expand your thinking.”

I learned that Daniel was an introvert when I met him last year at a conference. I asked him about how introverts exhibit this quality of symphony.  Here is what he said : “Symphony is important to all leaders — but quiet leaders might have an edge because they do more listening — and therefore might get more and better information. “ I agree that it takes a quiet observer to see the relationship between relationships. Stepping into solitude from the activity of your project may be just what you need to see the connections between seemingly random events.

2 Responses to “Be Creative: Compose a Symphony”

  1. Jeff Geyer says:

    Mary Grace Allenchey has always drawn from musical tributes in the work she has created. OPUS is one that comes to mind. She found the structure and organization of a well developed composition very similar to the well developed Charter, WBS and Project Plan.

  2. Collet Kudze says:

    I like the idea of “stepping out see the connections between seemingly random events”
    Essentially an important attribute especially for large projects. In my experience, there is always a need for someone in a Project team, who is assigned specifically to look for such links; (a very strong way to manage risks as well). This is like an extension of the “devils advocate”, the high level planner; capable of translating the bits and pieces of the maze

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