Breath Support to the End of the Phrase is a Key Deliverable

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How is being an effective band director like running a good business?

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What if the best practices in band program administration collide with the best practices in managing and developing employees?

It is striking how the franchise prototype model outlined in “The E-Myth” coincides with an effective, student-leader-empowered, music program:

  • Must provide consistent value to customers (students), employees (staff and student leaders), suppliers (parents), and lenders (school district curriculum and administration).
  • Results must be attainable by people with the skill level they already have.
  • Must stand out as a place of impeccable order and structure.
  • All work must be defined in operations manuals. (Clear standards of “how we do things around here”)
  • Events must unfold in a predictable, orderly, way.
  • Must utilize a uniform color, dress, and facilities code.

Another huge part of the E-Myth system is a commitment to continuous improvement and development; never resting on past success.  Jeremy Rifkin (among others) has said “everything decays.”  A simple thought, but one that every band director, business owner, and leader ought to keep in mind. [“Everything Decays” could be a whole other post, couldn’t it?]  For more, read The E-Myth.

For the first ten years of existence, Group Dynamic workshops served mostly youth music organizations, and so…

This blog is read by both band (and choir) directors, as well as folks in business.

This post is an attempt to point out the similarities of the two worlds, and help them understand each other…

There is no profit motive in public schools.  Period.  Teachers (and other school employees) are driven to do great work for many reasons, but certainly not so that the entity can deliver to the shareholders.

But what if teachers in general (and band/choir/orchestra directors specifically) studied best practices in business – both management from an organizational standpoint, and from a team-building/customer service/human relations standpoint?

And what if business leaders approached their businesses, and especially their people, as though they were volunteers (like band students) who could – and would – walk away from things if they didn’t think their time and energy were well-spent?

There’s more detail in an earlier post, but Blanchard’s basic three tenets of a great business (or class?) make so much sense:

  • Be the employer of choice (do students want to produce for the teacher?)
  • Be the provider of choice (is the activity worth all the time and effort?)
  • Be the investment of choice (does the administration believe that the class deserves support and funding?)

What do you think?

(P.S. This post was written keeping the rules of two posts ago in mind.  Whew.)

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