(Excerpts from a response to a client brief)
Ownership - A play happens when many
skill-sets, functions, perspectives, and expertise come together. There
are Actors, the Director, Music composer, the Light & Sound Crew, the Set
designer, the Props specialist, Costumes, Make-up. Among the actors
themselves, there are several roles with clear cut hierarchies and motivations.
However, across roles, across functions and skill-sets, everyone takes COMPLETE
OWNERSHIP of the play, and accountability for the audience (customer)
experience. Everyone is acutely aware that unless the audience gets up and
applauds the play, no role, no function, has been worth it. Strong egos
are not dropped or diluted, but powerfully aligned to the play and the response
of the audience. This ensures Collaboration, open and trusting
Communication, the willingness to give and receive Critical Feedback, and
facilitates Situational Leadership where people can give suggestions and ideas
across roles and functions even if they are not directly part of that
particular role or function.
Marketplace - As the success of the play is
almost entirely defined by the response of the audience, everyone involved
ensures that they have adequate understanding about the nature of the audience
and the cultural elements that could change from audience to audience.
Even so, it is never possible to fully estimate how an audience will
respond. The group therefore has to be willing to assess the audience (market
place) show to show, moment to moment.
Result-Orientation - Few things can be more 'result-oriented' than a
theatre performance. No matter how skillful the performance or perfect
the stage-craft, the success of the play is measured by the audience response.
Everyone is totally tuned to what needs to be done not only from show to
show, but even within a show to enhance the audience experience. Quality
and Kaizen become practical applications and not just generalised or esoteric
Trust in One
Another - Theatre practitioners are not by any
measure, ego-less or selfless. They can be highly competitive and
ambitious, and are often compelled by the desire for 'stardom'. They are
keen to be seen and rated as good, sought after performers. In spite of
this, once the play is in process, everyone is clear that they can only win together.
They are also clear that everyone involved is equally committed to the
play as a whole and to a positive and excited audience response. This
trust in each other's clarity and commitment, and not necessarily in each other
as people, is what matters. While it may sound ideal to have a team where
everyone likes and trusts each other, that would be next to impossible.
Whereas, as consistently experienced in theatre, it is possible for even
people who may not personally like or trust each other, to have complete trust
in each other's clarity of, and commitment to, the common goal, and collective
success as defined by the customer experience.