A Business Tip from the World of Music: Don’t “Dut” a Pianist!

January 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm Leave a comment

Have you ever seen a marching band perform a  halftime show? For marching on overdrive, check out a Drum Corps International showcase program,  the Cavaliers 2008 clip.  Their goal is to be so perfectly coordinated that everyone playing the same instrument starts a phrase at exactly the same instant.  The drum major’s downbeat isn’t precise enough to accomplish this, so they “dut.”  The section leader barks out “Dut…dut…dut…” to set the beat and coordinate the all-important first note. It’s part of their structure and proud tradition.

Now fast forward your thinking to Orchestra Hall in Chicago, or Carnegie Hall in New York. A violin soloist and piano accompanist are trading impossibly complex musical passages. At the end of a musical phrase there is a long pause. The pianist must start at exactly the same moment as the violin. An almost imperceptible muscle twitch, and the piano and violin sound as one. A “dut” is incomprehensible. You don’t “dut” a pianist.

Those of us in business have much to learn from the world of music. Don’t “dut” a pianist. Know the expectations and traditions of the industries, the cultures,  the businesses and the individuals with whom you are dealing. A proud tradition in one context can be an humiliating gaffe in another. When venturing into new territory, take time to learn and appreciate its traditions. Honor and celebrate the differences, respect the structure. Don’t  “dut” a pianist.


Entry filed under: business growth, Business Strategy, business tips, drum corps, IL, marching band, Music, small business, strategic planning, strategy.

Go for Business Extreme in 2013, and a Happy New Year to All! January Opportunities: Grow Business Now!

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