I attended a most interesting WEF Summer Davos session lead by Concert Violinist Miha Pogačnik, an associate of the German Institute for the Development of Intercultural Relations through the Arts. Pogačnik pointed out in his opening comments that business leaders these days used more and more terms which are connected with the emotional—right— side of the brain i.e. passion, inspiration, performance, creativity, etc. He explained this concept with a simple statement:
“Unless you put your heart into the things you do, you will get very sick.”
To me, leadership is indeed all about passion, and it is one of the strongest emotions of mankind. Great leaders are those who inspire great dreams by focusing on just a few basic values.
Pogačnik took us on a journey that identified the similarities of the change management process lead by a successful leader to the composition of a classical music masterpiece. He acknowledged the following five steps as common to both processes:
- Stage 1 – The mind purification process whereby the mind is freed from all buzz, and becomes ready to concentrate on the big task ahead. This phase corresponds to focusing on the big picture versus being absorbed by operational routines.
- Stage 2 – The identification of the “brand” for the composition, which uncovers the basic themes, and which in turn will direct the journey.
- Stage 3 – The confrontation with change, which involves a stormy process of dissemination, discussion, initial rejection, and other chaotic situations.
- Stage 4 - The ‘refocus’ stage, where sanity and serenity return and where all attention is centered on the ultimate goals and basic values.
- Stage 5 - The final phase in which all opposites are brought together, and where “TRUST” is created.
I found the concept of comparing the business strategy setting and execution with classical music composition most intriguing. After all, several masterpieces have survived hundreds of years and many generations – just imagine if we were able to do that in the business world.
What were my reasons for attending this session?
First, I am always interested in listening to a new and different perspective. At Deloitte that’s what we try to deliver for our firms’ clients.
But, on a lighter note, although the meeting’s dress code is business casual, over 75 percent of all participants usually appear in full business suits, including ties. I happened to be tie-less that day. And guess what? About 75 percent of the participants in this session were tie-less as well. In addition, I had overheard a discussion at the bar the night prior between Pogačnik and another delegate, in which he said, “Life is about value added, not about numbers”. After overhearing this statement, I think I subconsciously decided to leave my tie on the rack the next morning…
Below is an interesting quote from Pogačnik that I wanted to share:
“If you focus on the money, the money will be gone quickly, but if you focus on the values, the money comes by itself”.
Ludo De Keulenaer is DTTL Global Managing Partner, Brand.