I had the good fortune over the 4th of July weekend to attend a concert featuring noted violinist, Joshua Bell. As a virtuoso performer, his passion and intense commitment to his craft are unmistakable. Yet, it was his synchronicity with the other musicians that enabled the conductor to orchestrate an unforgettable performance. I was struck by the parallels between a business and an orchestra. Both include individuals with disparate backgrounds and specific skills that must play in unison to create a harmony beyond the sum of its individual parts. In order to orchestrate value creation in business, a leader must combine the same passion and intensity of commitment that I witnessed from Joshua Bell with the unyielding attention to collaboration demonstrated by his conductor. Indeed, collaboration is as integral to the creation of value in business as it is to the production of a symphony, which is often comprised of 4 movements with different tempos, keys and rhythms.
The melody of value creation flows harmoniously from revenue growth, margin expansion and capital efficiency. The first movement of a “healthcare information IT symphony” is revenue growth, which requires a fast tempo focus on solution development and customer acquisition. The second movement is slower and must focus on realizing operating leverage from a firm’s fixed cost investments. The third movement must be cash flow generation in anticipation of the fourth movement, which is value realization in the form of an outright or partial sale of the business.
When a healthcare IT executive team strokes their instruments of value with the expertise, passion, commitment and collaboration of Joshua Bell and his conductor, the finale will be as memorable as Joshua Bell’s performance was for me.