Moving beyond the machine paradigm of corporate culture, we have the opportunity to find new ways of working together that leverage people’s instinctive sociability and enthusiasm, their need for a sense of purpose and a common goal, and their innate ingenuity. In essence, we need to rehumanise the workplace. One of our approaches approach is to look to the performing arts as a perfect model of highly functional ensemble behaviour focussed on delivering an outstanding, audience-pleasing performance.

Everyone has some experience of performing, no matter how humble: the school play; the choir; the band; the presentation. Taking part in any sport is another kind of performance. When we ‘perform’ in these ways, we are instinctively aware that our own performance depends on the performance of others. If we try to dominate proceedings, we destroy the performance as a whole. When we work together as a team, as a genuine ensemble, the performance begins to take off. As performers, we are also fully engaged: our energy plugs directly into our performance – there is no organisational ‘stuff’ that gets between our performance and its impact on the audience.

Our book, Perform To Win: Unlocking the secrets of the arts for personal and business success, is written as a business novel exploring the experiences of four board directors as they go through a lightly-fictionalised account of one of Dr Mark Powell’s ground-breaking, arts-based leadership development programmes.

Perform To Win develops ‘10 Lessons From the Performing Arts’ and shows how the mindsets and techniques used by great performing artists can be translated directly into business behaviours that rehumanise the workplace and generate winning business performances.