Music, whole systems, whole self LO11530

Joe Katzman (
Sat, 21 Dec 1996 16:30:12 +0000

Replying to LO11302 --

> We have heard in this conversation what the hearing of music does for
> people. I always think of what singing provides for the singer and what
> parallels there are for creating similar experiences in a workplace. I
> love singing because it pulls my whole self....mental, physical,
> emotional and spiritual ...into one thing. How often do we create /allow
> for such experiences at work?

A couple of requisite components would be required:

(1) Intensity. Music is by its very nature an intense activity. Most work
environments do not cultivate intensity (many cultivate "tense," but that
is not the same thing). Intensity taps and strengthens existing emotions
and attachments, whereas "tense" tends to weaken them. Perhaps "passion"
is a good synonym here.

(2) Expressiveness. Music draws on one's creative powers and gives them
public expression. Sometimes it can be a challenge just to match the
notes, but once profiiency is reached every song and playing becomes
slightly different each time.

To which I might add:

(3) Effective Collaboration. This is not actually necessary, as music
works just fine solo and so can flow states. But anyone who has ever heard
a gospel choir knows that intensity and expressiveness can be highly

All three of these components can be found in high-performance teams.
Speading them to an organization is no simple task, to put it mildly.

> I have worked with an organization that begins their staff meetings with
> a verse, usually spiritual in nature, often from great literature. .
> They end their meetings with a song...often 'rounds' that swell and
> recede, and create harmonies. When these folks are 'on', it is a
> wonderful thing to see.

No doubt. Which organization is this? I assume it's a religious
organization of some sort, as outside of certain Japanese corporations and
perhaps Southwest Airlines this is not behaviour one usually finds in a
corporate setting.

Joe Katzman, MBA
"The more you know, the more you can imagine."


Joe Katzman <>

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