Healthy Competition LO18132

Ed Brenegar (
Tue, 19 May 1998 22:32:19 +0100

Replying to LO18123 --

Re: the music metaphor in the competition/cooperation thread

I like this approach. Probably the finest concert that I've ever attended
was in 1974 when the Modern Jazz Quartet was making what they termed then,
their last concert tour. The four musicians played as one. That is not
unusual. What amazed me was watching how the communicated with their
instruments. There was no ego on stage, just intense listening to their
fellow musicians. My words don't capture the experience. It transcended
the music. I realized I was watching what it meant to communicate at the
highest level.

I don't think that they could have done that if they were primarily
interested in their careers. It reminds me of the Deming distinction
between optimization of the whole organization and sub-optimization of the
parts. The former requires cooperation, and the acceptance of a larger
view than my own part. The latter assumes that I'm in competition with
everyone in the company. A narrow, restrictive view which is ultimately

I think I'll go listen to some MJQ and reflect some more on this.

Ed Brenegar
Leadership Resources


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