Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Outside the box
What do you get when you combine 150 business students, a string trio, and a big box of percussion instruments? Well, if our recent session at Cambridge’s Judge Business School is anything to go by, the answer is an inspiring blend of learning and laughter. Britten Sinfonia musicians Lizzie Ball, Martin Outram and Ben Chappell opened day 2 of the MBA programme’s Creativity Workshop with a fascinating insight into the inner workings of a chamber ensemble and clear demonstrations of how the skills which make for a successful performance in the concert hall might also be of use in the boardroom. The workshop was presented by Dr Allegre Hadida of the Judge Business School, who helped the students to observe and articulate the many parallels between their world and that of the musicians.
After the workshop, student Daniel Vankov, who joined the MBA programme in 2007 after a number of years as a Finance Manager in the publishing industry, commented: “The Britten Sinfonia workshop demonstrated that what you create together is more important than individual competition. It expanded our thinking outside the business school ‘box’ and demonstrated that individuality and teamwork are both necessary components of creative harmony.”
And the Britten Sinfonia musicians learned a lot from the experience too. Lizzie Ball told us: "The workshop at the Judge was a uniquely rewarding and fantastically enjoyable experience! To work with Ben and Martin was as always a real joy, and the three of us were very like-minded in our approach to this seminar, and found that the challenge of relating what we do as chamber and orchestral musicians to the world of business made us think more deeply about how unique our jobs are and how much they are admired by others in a different world. The opinons of the MBA students were fascinating as they really understood so profoundly what we trying to achieve, and were also interested to draw comparisons with their experiences of the concepts of leadership, listening and team work that form such a vital part of a musician's skills also. To work with Allegre on this was enlightening, as we gained another perspective from the business angle, and Sophie was a star in co-ordinating everything and organising us all, and also finding the correct words for the African song that we taught all the students at the end!"