Insights from the performance arts on collaboration in business [Phill Christian, ISSS 1998 Paper Session, July 20/98]

[Paper session, July 20/98, 2:10 p.m.]

Phill Christian, Seattle, Antioch U.

Will get paper, want to discuss application.

Was a union musician until into his 30s.

Motivation: What is it that performer know or do that could inform the process of teaming? Different balance in value systems: Lots of literature on leadership, but not much on followership. Model as summary: Became chief technologist for U.S. Web, to understand how to build really big things (e.g. Air Canada web): Wanted to create a sustainable collaborative culture. At first, nothing happened: (March to September 1997) Started at $90K per month, went to $250K revenue per month.

At first, had problems hiring qualified staff, but now no turnover, and people bringing friends in.

Went from doing web sites for radio stations to Boeing in 8 months.

Collaboration as value creation works.


Competition within teams? Limits of metaphor of musicians. When hiring, the time frames of a single performance and long-term environment are different. Relationship to competency development? How far does musician metaphor go? Followership:

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