I served as the in-house counsel for a global pharmaceutical company that went through a rapid string of mergers during its growth process. Teams from different countries with staff speaking different languages were expected to adapt to working together, and fast. You can imagine the management challenges, ego clashes, and outright confusion as thousands of executives felt each other out and jockeyed for position. To say that different cultures had to come together would be an understatement.
In the midst of this, the company leadership brought the senior management together and sat us in the center of a great hall, encircled by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Wow. As the orchestra played, we all experienced what it physically feels like to hear and feel hundreds of strong, independent instruments come together as one harmonious whole. It was a literal experience of “concinnity.”
Concinnity is an elegant word that applies to great music and great corporate management alike, defined as “the skillful and harmonious arrangement or coming together of different parts of something.”
The experience of hearing all those sounds come together as one was powerful.
The Lesson of the Conductor’s Baton
But even more powerful was the lesson of the conductor’s baton.
Watching his baton, I saw that it was always a few seconds ahead of the orchestra. The conductor was showing everyone where they needed to go next, anticipating not just the music, but also how to guide each musician to do their individual part in a way that sounded right together as a whole. Yes, there was the sheet music that spoke to each of them personally — and then there was the baton that spoke to the group as a harmonious whole.
After that experience, I thought, how can we bake this experience into board work? How can we craft a subtle baton that guides the powerful independent players who make up every good leadership team?
Imagine my delight, years later, at meeting my co-founder Nancy Falls and building Cloud Concinnity with our team. With the world changing at an ever-increasing rate, the only way to stay ahead of the puck is with good software. We simply can’t do it all alone — and good leaders know this.
Concinnity Makes Governance Sing
What I love about concinnity is this:
The Harmonious Whole: Concinnity means a relentless focus on the harmonious whole, not on personal ego and fighting for credit. Success is in the coming together of the parts and competition with the outside world, not within the team.
Commitment to Best Practices: So many boardrooms and executives teams lean on “how we’ve always done things.” In the rapidly changing environment of today, that’s not good enough. Concinnity is inherently about a commitment to updating “how we do things” to align with current best practices.
Conversation as Default: Concinnity requires communication — early and often. Instead of keeping things to ourselves and sticking our heads in the sand for whatever reason, conversation and transparency become the default, helping everyone move through challenges much more quickly and as a team.
Clarity of Roles & Responsibilities: When everyone is clear on their personal starting point and the starting points of the team and company, everything moves forward in a synchronized fashion. And when the gears of governance are in sync, articulating and aligning with the greater mission becomes second nature, not guesswork.
Give Leadership a Gentle Baton: Concinnity necessarily puts the baton the gentle hand of the leadership instead leaving those leaders scrambling to play catch up all the time. Governance can sing, and the music is beautiful.
We know that there are unprecedented levels of pressure on everyone in the boardroom and at the executive level. The old playbooks are crumbling and a new model is emerging.
Streamlined access to information, efficient processes & engagement, and transparent outcome measurement are table stakes for playing the game of the future. Building the best practices for concinnity into the software itself is a master move.
The sound of the orchestra is there for anyone to hear. Creating concinnity can make governance sing. The question is: will you listen to the lesson of the conductor’s baton?
Interested in how Cloud Concinnity can make a different for your team? Get in touch with us and we'll tell you how.
The Concinnity Company™ provides boards and c-suites with elegant technology and best practices. Cloud Concinnity® is the world’s first integrated board intelligence and management platform. To learn more about how Cloud Concinnity can help your board sing, visit https://www.theconcinnitycompany.com.
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