Cover image for Leadership ensemble : lessons in collaborative management from the world's only conductorless orchestra
Leadership ensemble : lessons in collaborative management from the world's only conductorless orchestra
Seifter, Harvey.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Times Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
xiv, 225 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes bibiographical references (p. 209-213) and index.
Corporate Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


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HD66 .S43 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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An exciting new model for streamlining organizational management and structure, from an organization known around the world for its innovative structure.

For nearly three decades the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has earned rave reviews as one of the premier touring musical ensembles in the world. Recently, it has also attracted the attention and admiration of the business world. As the only major orchestra without a conductor, Orpheus is a shining example of a new management style based on collaborative leadership.

Leadership Ensemble is designed to show business leaders in any industry how to re-create the successful "Orpheus Process" in their own companies by dismantling top-heavy hierarchies; developing flexible, responsive strategies and decision-making procedures; and unleashing employee creativity, responsibility, and productivity. The authors delineate the ten core principles of collaborative management, including shared and rotated leadership, passionate dedication to mission, clarity of roleswithin an organization, and learning to listen. Spiced with anecdotes and lessons from the life of Orpheus and case studies from the world of business, Leadership Ensemble is an entertaining, eminently practical guide to implementing changes essential to survival in today's speed-of-light business environment.

Author Notes

Harvey Seifter, a classically trained musician, is Executive Director of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra & successfully managed a number of performing arts organizations in both New York & San Francisco.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1972 in New York, designed to rely on the skills, abilities, and passionate commitment of its members rather than on the leadership of a conductor. Power, responsibility, and motivation rest entirely in the hands of the musicians. Jointly its members make the artistic decisions that are ordinarily the work of a conductor, and they participate in choosing the repertoire and creating the group's programs. There are eight Orpheus principles: put power in the hands of the people doing the work, encourage individual responsibility, create clarity of roles, share and rotate leadership, foster horizontal teamwork, learn to listen and talk, seek consensus, and dedicate passionately to your mission. The authors' goal is to show business leaders in any industry how to use these principles in their companies. Each chapter focuses on one of the principles, and each ends with a five-step prescription for applying the relevant principle to a specific company and a warning about problems that may be encountered in doing so. --George Cohen

Publisher's Weekly Review

The business-as-orchestra metaphor is nothing new: the business executive must bring out each employee's best so that the entire organization finds harmony. Seifter, executive director of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, which operates sans conductor, takes the idea a step further, arguing that a leader may be unnecessary. With the help of writer Economy, Seifter offers eight CEO-optional management principles (e.g., put power in the hands of workers; clarify roles; share and rotate leadership; foster horizontal teamwork; learn to listen, learn to talk) for achieving organizational success. The irony, of course, is that, except in inchoate organizations, only a boss can implement this leaderless system. (Oct. 4) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



The Ten Orpheus Principles: --Put the power in the hands of the people doing the work. --Encourage individual responsibility for product and quality. --Foster teamwork built on individual responsibility. --Share and rotate leadership. --Create clarity of roles. --Learn to listen, learn to talk. --Make everyone a specialist, and a generalist. --Seek consensus. --Foster respect for others. --Be passionate about your mission. Excerpted from Leadership Ensemble: Lessons in Collaborative Management from the World's Only Conductorless Orchestra by Harvey Seifter, Peter Economy All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

J. Richard Hackman
Foreword: Less Is Morep. xi
Introduction: Carnegie Hallp. 1
1 Overture: The Rules Have Changed (Again)p. 5
2 Put Power in the Hands of the People Doing the Workp. 19
3 Encourage Individual Responsibility for Product and Qualityp. 41
4 Create Clarity of Rolesp. 65
5 Share and Rotate Leadershipp. 87
6 Foster Horizontal Teamworkp. 107
7 Learn to Listen, Learn to Talkp. 137
8 Seek Consensus (and Build Creative Structures that Favor Consensus)p. 163
9 Dedicate Passionately to Your Missionp. 187
10 Coda: Building a Futurep. 205
Notesp. 209
Acknowledgmentsp. 215
Indexp. 217