Process, Process, Process

Let me say this again: it’s a healthy and sustainable process that creates excellent organizations, not just visionary entrepreneurs who can magically pull the rabbit out of the hat.

I learned all these lessons early, in this bizarre sport called Drum Corps, and I even published an article on how I learned them.

There are a million ways to skin a cat, so to speak, but excellent organizations create consistency and most importantly Integrity. (no, not the selfhelp buzzword, the architectual/engineering term) by choosing the same few in the same order.

In drum corps, each team is a pseudomilitary club :uniforms, marching, oral commands and responses. Each team is also a team: workouts, warmups, signature ‘plays.’
Each team in the league can define or redefine every aspect of this list every year, but the best teams define it the same ways for 40years. At that 20-30 year mark the uniform and accessory makers know the style and signature ‘plays’ so well the outfit accentuates the form, or flashes metal accents when the team executes it’s signature move. That’s a high level of organizational integrity.

But each choice means an exclusion of other equally valid options. To move with a “right foot lead” means you cannot in fact also use a “leftfoot lead”. You only have two feet. It’s one or the other.

As those choices are defined, programming has to reflect the choices made. The group I was a part of chose smooth movement and warm tone quality; this means that when
It came time to pick music to play, we were comitted to NOT play music which needed something other than those attributes. In the league there is a long tradition of jazz and Latin music that we have opted out of. In most iterations it won’t fit with the DNA we’ve established by our choices. If they do someday play Latin or jazz it’s likely to be stately, smooth and something that will sing: maybe piazolla or Maria schneider. (piazolla was an Argentinian classical composer, Maria Schneider is a contempory jazz composer known for lush and complex harmonies).

What choices has your organization made?
What have you chosen against?