Monday, February 20, 2023


Only business functions work as a whole, rather than a sum of pieces, the symphony can be orchestrated synchronously, elegantly and harmoniously.

Change is inevitable; closer to reality is that change is continuously happening in such a dynamic environment of a company. Organizational change management has to be orchestrated at all levels, sounds like a symphony via synchronized communication, optimized process, and harmonized instrumental performance. 

In the highly complex and competitive dynamic global business environment, Analogously, the top leaders act as conductors to orchestrate the symphony of business transformation. Such a vivid description fits in today for top business leaders or a manager in a strategic, operational or even functional role in any successful organization, to lead change synchronously.

The conductor is attuned to the needs of the listener: Business transformation is the large-scale change effort, represents a break from the past, with a high level of impact and complexity. The inevitable range, breadth, depth, and pace of uncontrollable factors acting on any organizations mean constant fine-tuning is essential. Senior leadership concerns the driving forces, visions, and processes that fuel large-scale transformation.

Analogously, the digital synchronization occurs when all parts of the choir sing their respective parts in harmony to achieve the business purpose and strategic goals. The business management has to not only keep the light on but also simultaneously coordinate with all sorts of business stakeholders across the business hierarchy, geographical territories and time zones, take into account the time lag and ensure they can orchestrate the digital symphony harmoniously.

In digital music, Information technology needs to go beyond just playing the background music to support the melody, it’s being the sheet music: Take that away and you run the risk of the orchestra stopping altogether or, at least, playing the wrong tune! Although it’s a collective responsibility for both the senior leadership team and BoD to lead business transformation and orchestrate digital symphony, when it comes to information technology and how it relates to business, this should be the top leadership role in conducting the complex piece of music.

With information technology becoming increasingly a key tool in “transforming” organizations, information savvy leaders with a “strategic mindset” should help to craft corporate strategy for the future; being part of a “strategic planning cell” can help to navigate progressive corporate moving in the business transformation journey.

The senior leaders have to master at conducting such a hybrid digital orchestra: Metaphorically, Global corporate leaders as the business conductors have to lead the in-house musicians and have to take into account the time lag (a fraction of a second) of the orchestras on another continent. This looks more and more like the situation faced by global organizational leaders. They have to keep the in-house order, and coordinate with distant contributors simultaneously; otherwise, the "music" will jar the ears. The term is more generic and stresses the role of a team leader and the fact that they wouldn't be able to create a “symphony” without the full participation of their team members.

There needs to be some in-depth technical understanding and business insight. The information savvy leaders must be attuned to the technical needs of the business, and work with stakeholders of all stripes to ensure they have the right tools to execute a clearly-defined strategy; and the business won't miss the opportunity to grow. Information technology must always be tuned up to enable business objectives and catalyze business growth for the long-term perspective.

The conductor should harmonize the symphony by taking effective governing approaches: The role of the information-savvy business leaders and its place in the governance chain is very mixed in different organizations. Somewhere in the governance chain information technology needs to be translated to business. It is important for the CXOs to work with these roles in a business planning and support capacity to ensure that the information and technology services being delivered are what is needed for the business to play their music. In high-mature organizations, IT governance is converging with business governance and IT savvy leaders successfully conduct the music of ‘balance’ to inspire innovation and enforce standards.

Things will go stale if not moving forward. Therefore, the changing nature of global business keeps things fresh. Quite a few forward-looking global organizations are at the inflection of business transformation. The role of orchestration leadership is to leverage information & technology, blend the way to harness cross-boundary communication & collaboration.

“The business leader as a conductor” is only one of the interesting analogs to articulate the sophisticated role contemporary leaders have to play, information technology is a critical note in digital music sheet, and only business functions work as a whole, rather than sum of pieces, the symphony can be orchestrated synchronously, elegantly and harmoniously


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