Following the new WU Motto “Rethink Economy”, the WU Executive Academy is strongly emphasizing innovation. This applies particularly to its department for Corporate and Management Development, which designs and develops executive education programs, ranging from the transfer of cutting-edge tools to the latest research results. The department’s special workshops such as “Leadership Orchestra” are designed and implemented in cooperation with external partners, allowing leaders and managers a change of perspective.
The focus lies on encoutering and engaging with unique circumstances, breaking familiar thought and behavior patterns as well as questioning what appears to be self-evident. These special workshops are designed and tailored according to the needs of the respective company, supported by experienced specialists and embedded in extensive further education programs or modules. The tie between theory and practice within the framework of a university as well as the actual transfer into the individual business environment are guaranteed.
The “Leadership Orchestra” workshop provides executives with an opportunity to put on the сonductor‘s hat and meet a professional orchestra or string quartet representing employees. Following a short introduction to the art of conducting and an analysis of the (leadership) behavior of some famous conductors, participants start creating their personal interpretation of a piece of music together with the musicians. Along the way, they get to experience and examine their own leadership behavior (and that of others) first-hand. In this context, special emphasis is placed on the fundamental laws of effective communication – addressing, focusing and limiting. Throughout the workshop, participants keep moving back and forth between the role and perspective of the conductor and that of the musician, making it possible for them to get a first-hand experience of their leadership behavior and its impact. Moreover, they increase their leadership effectiveness by developing their understanding of obstacles to effective leadership, such as inner resistances or inconsistent behavior. A continuous feedback loop enables participants to hear (and see) the effects of both their decisions and the actions they take or do not take. In everyday executive practice, these effects either go unnoticed or are recognized too late. But the musicians, unlike employees, do provide instant feedback. An orchestra can play without a conductor for some time before losing direction. Likewise, employees can work alone for a while. However, a team without a leader will never be able to achieve the same performance and results as one with a strong leader. The „Leadership Orchestra“ workshops are an interesting experience for the musicians as well because they offer them the chance to give their “leader” personal feedback. In the world of professional music, just as in many organizations, having this opportunity is something that can by no means be taken for granted.
No prior knowledge of music is required for participation in the “Leadership Orchestra” workshop.
OUR COLLABORATION – YOUR BENEFIT
The “Leadership Orchestra” workshop is delivered in collaboration with Lorenz Huber – a qualified conductor – and an international orchestra or string quartet. Combined with the executive education expertise of the WU Executive Academy, the emotionalizing effect of music as a powerful catalyst is used for developing social and leadership skills of lasting value.
Objectives and Content
- Possible workshop structure:Introduction: similarities and differences between orchestras and organizations as well as between conductors and executives
- Crash course in conducting: introduction to the art of conducting, wielding the conductor’s baton, musical warm-up
- Conducting and leadership: planning and rehearsing, creation of a personal interpretation of a piece of music together with the musicians, performance
- Reflection and transfer: parallels between conducting musicians and leading employees, analysis of different leadership styles, evaluation of the feedback received and transfer to situations encountered in executive practice
- Conclusion: What has moved me? What do I take with me? What do I want to change?
The concrete schedule and contents will be defined upon more detailed planning, depending on the wishes of the respective company. The workshop is intended for a timeframe between 0.5 – 1 day.
The “Leadership Orchestra” workshop is designed for executives and managers at different organizational levels.
A group size of 8 –12 participants is recommended for this workshop.
- experience the difference between the executive’s perspective and the employee’s perspective,
- learn how an executive’s inner attitudes influence employee behavior,
- become more aware of the effect of their body language and their impact as role models,
- gain an understanding of how to use their leadership and communication skills more efficiently, and
- learn to handle immediate feedback.
The “Leadership Orchestra” workshop can be carried out in English or German.
Facilitators and Contact
This workshop has been developed in collaboration with Lorenz Huber. He also facilitates it, with support and assistance from an orchestra (15 to 20 persons) or a string quartet (4 persons) and one or two executive education experts of the WU Executive Academy.
Lorenz Huber, Conductor and Consultant
- Education: studied music at the Konservatorium Wien, qualified conductor and trainer
- Managing director of D’Akkord Trainings
- Formerly consultant and head of the training division at Strametz & Partner
- Formerly head of a music school
“The ‘Leadership Orchestra’ was one of the many real highlights of the Berndorf Executive Academy. The art of leadership begins with integrating all members of your team into the process. The orchestra provided immediate feedback, making it the perfect sounding board for me as an executive.”
WU Executive Academy
Vienna University of Economics and Business
Welthandelsplatz 1, Building EA, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Dr. Verena Aichholzer
Head of Corporate and Management Development
Tel.: +43-1-313 36-5380