Values that Drive Organizational Growth

I was at a concert by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, the  sarod maestro this Saturday. Besides the beautiful music, I was intrigued by the interaction that he had with his tabla players and his sons who are also accomplished sarod players (Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan). The dynamic interplay between each of the parties and their production as a group, led to honing in on 5 key concepts that are essential for organizational growth –

  1. Recognize the value of teams
    • In any organization, there tend to be some teams that are given more significance than others. For eg – in companies offering a product or service, the sales and marketing team tends to be at the forefront and garner appreciation versus others such as legal or operations. Yet the end result of success is a cumulative effort of each of the teams working together –  so remember to recognize the value that each team brings to the table.
    • During the concert the maestro took breaks to show case the talents of each of his tabla player, even though he was the star of the show and did not need to.
  2. Harmony amongst moving parts
    • In music and in life the most successful and beautiful productions are those where the moving parts work together seamlessly with harmony. Instead of creating insular silos and teams where competition can be negative, encourage an open harmonious environment where there is an exchange of ideas and information.
    • The whole concert from beginning to end was seamless. It was clear that at various points there were different parts in play, but each player during the concert supported and showed generosity towards all the other musicians in order to achieve the attend goal – beautiful sound.
  3. Be fair
    • Praise is easy, but being fair in action to all teams and individual team members is hard. Fairness strikes at the heart of organizational balance and growth – the belief  that at work, people will be treated with fairness based on just standards and there will be no bias, is a highly motivating force. Fairness, equity, justice – these are all foundational values that we as individuals seek out and instinctively respond to.
    • During the concert, the ustad/maestro was fair with the time attention and praise that he gave to his sons as well as to the table players. The result was that both parties were happy and the tabla players as well as his sons were motivated to give their best because they were treated fairly based on their performance.
  4. Show respect
    • Respect is another key human value that has a significant impact on how people view themselves and their work environment. Organizations that encourage their employees to treat each other with respect and consideration are developing a resilient organizational foundation that can withstand disruption and stressors.
    • Through out the concert, including the breaks, all the players and the maestro were consistently respectful and considerate of each other. This simple behavior was reflected in the cohesive and amicable manner in which the group interacted with each other.
  5. Train leaders
    • Most often management and executive team leadership by default tend to nurture those lower in the ranks to be good workers. There exists a system of rewards, checks and balances that encourages the mind frame of a worker but not a leader. For your organization to succeed your management has to consciously make an effort to imbibe leadership skills in their employees from day one. 
    • It was obvious during the concert that the maestros goal was not to take the lead and be the center of the attention. To the contrary at various points of time during the concert, each of the players took the center stage individually and led the group though a musical piece.
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