Enterprise Architecture

What Great Orchestra Conductors and CIOs Have in Common?

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The great leaders are like the best conductors – they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players. – Blaine Lee

Orchestra conductor for classical music and CIO of an enterprise seem to come from entirely different worlds. Nevertheless, they do share some common traits.

Orchestra conductor
Conductors act as guides to to the orchestras and/or choirs they conduct (Wikipedia)
CIO (Chief Information Officer)
CIO is the most senior executive in an enterprise responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support enterprise goals (Wikipedia)

Although job descriptions are so different, conductors and CIOs do face surprisingly similar aspects in their daily work:

Orchestra conductor CIO
Exploring different styles Classical music has a wide range of music styles, from baroque music to symphonies. Conductor learns to master different styles. Exceptions do exist like Jordi Savall who focuses on early Western music. IT of an enterprise consists of core systems and supporting systems and platforms. CIO needs to have at least some grasp of all the architectural levels and architecture governance.
Handling the past Conductor needs to conduct music from different centuries. Instruments and assemblies varies across the time. CIO has to deal with legacy systems from previous years and even decades. Legacy systems must function with new systems and platforms.
Handling the future Music from contemporary composers creates requirements for the conductor to master new music. Conductor needs to come up with new interpretations for the compositions. New technologies arrive at increasing rate. CIO needs to have a strategy to evaluate effectively new business and technology drivers and how these affect IT architecture.
Leading international teams Conductors travel often across the globe to conduct various productions. Musicians in an orchestra typically come from different nations and cultures. IT has transformed to international business as IT vendors can come from any country and IT recruitment, offshore and nearshore development has gone global.
Communicating plans and ideas Conductor must be able plan and communicate the ideas to musicians so that the individual musicians perform together as one entity, both in rehearsals and concert. CIO is responsible for defining IT strategy and its roadmap. CIO needs to communicate upcoming plans to both business and IT organization.

Do you identify additional aspects orchestra conductors and CIOs have in common?

Image credit: Heikki Tuuli

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