Archives for August 2016

Welcome To Intentional Collaboration

The Band Is Ready to Play

The concert is about to start. The bandleader counts off the first song of the night …

  1. The audience waits in anticipation as the stage lights go up and the house lights go down.
  2. We know the music, we’ve done enough rehearsing to play it tight, we have the set list and music in order, we’ve done a proper soundcheck so all the instruments are at the right volume and balance …
  3. But we still don’t know what’s going to happen next, nor does the audience, what excursions we are going to take before we make it to the other side, it’s never the same from one night to the next …
  4. We’re ready, less than a second to go … Boom, the music starts.


The Journey Begins

We know the music but we’re open that anything could happen. We play while we listen – more heavily listening to each other so our individual playing is all a part of a whole.

Upon inspiration any band member can do something different at any moment and we’ll all, as a group, make music out of it. We play while listening hard – like riding a wave. Fully focused and concentrated but completely open. It’s a four-piece band tonight. One person leads and the other three instantly respond.

Everyone in the band was born in a different part of the country, grew up in different ways and circumstances, and no one is the same age but we’re all equals in bringing our best to the table to shape what’s happening right now.


Leadership Becomes Fluid

Anyone can jump in with a leading idea if it’s good enough (maybe even great), relevant, and gives space for the other band members to give an interesting response that adds to the value of the music.

Sometimes an idea doesn’t work. No problem, move on. The game hasn’t stopped. As long as it’s game on every moment counts.

When leadership is required, the leader steps in, steering control of the moment to stay on course.


There’s one goal – success through collaboration…Welcome to jazz!

Why has jazz become such an interesting and intriguing art form? Because it reflects life. It reflects the apex of a mindset of intentional collaboration.

It must be the intention of the leader to want others to contribute to their vision.

A Forbes Insights report surveyed 321 executives with direct responsibility or oversight for their companies’ diversity and inclusion programs. The top key finding of the survey is that diversity is a key driver of innovation and is a critical component of being successful on a global scale.

“Diverse teams and companies make better decisions.” – Eileen Taylor, global head of diversity, Deutsche Bank.

The top, most innovative companies like Google, Apple, and Alibaba swear by including the diverse ideas of their employees to help drive the company. But here’s the key that makes it all work….listening.

So how do you listen? How do you collaborate? That will be the subject of this blog.



Communication is an opportunity to expand what we know, not just confirm our own running thoughts. Take the opportunity to make yourself more valuable by expanding your awareness. In your next communication, don’t assume that you know the answer. Assume that you don’t know the answer.

Next time you are speaking to someone, listen to them.

Have you had a positive listening experience that helped you collaborate with someone? Please share your experience here for myself and the readers to enjoy!


Did you like this post and find it valuable? Take a moment and subscribe to the blog! As a THANK YOU I’ll send you an unreleased track from my latest CD showing intentional collaboration in action!