Who Is The Conductor In Your Business Orchestra?

Who Is The Conductor In Your Business Orchestra?


The Conductor epitomises tempering natural energy and the ability to unlock value through a refining eye, razor-sharp detail, cutting through the noise and identifying risk with a factual and data-based perspective.

Just as a ‘master blade’ is refined through the repeated application of heating and cooling, so too does the Conductor refine and sharpen the organisational sword.

Balancing your head and heart

A Conductor is a person who, just like the conductor of an orchestra, uses their focused and efficient energy to direct the singular instruments of the orchestra into a unified and optimised collective.

With the wave of a baton, the conductor keeps the whole orchestra in rhythm and in tune.

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So, too, does a Conductor excel at making sure a process or function runs optimally and efficiently, which may include ensuring that a business unit or company delivers the expected return from its assets.

With a natural affinity for analysis and data, a Conductor finds meaningful insights through information and analysis. Indeed, they revel in solving problems through logic and fact.

Conductors are driven by the need for predictability and routine, and they will seek out environments where there are known outcomes and stable resources upon which they can rely.

For a Conductor, the ability to swing that proverbial conductor’s baton and take control of the environment, its role players and outcomes, will energise their motivation and accelerate value creation. Indeed, they derive great pleasure out of ‘getting the ducks in a row’ and creating order out of chaos.

Conductors who have learnt to maximise their natural energy, understand the value they create in any team through the non-emotional and factual view of the world that they hold. Yet they also recognise their main challenge — appreciating the value and dynamics of people — and therefore learn to find the critical balance point between head and heart.

On Board: The Conductor’s contribution


A Conductor director brings to the board the contribution of analysis, performance metrics and refinement. They will see patterns and problem areas in the data and financial reports almost as if by magic. When a Conductor sees numbers, an intricate story jumps out at them.

The numbers speak; and the Conductors listen. A Conductor director will also be highly focused on the metrics used to assess whether the business is functioning at its peak. Operational efficiency problems would attract their attention as well as a poor or decreasing return on assets and project investments.

In a boardroom, Conductor directors tend to keep coming back to data, research and analytical reference points. They want to see the evidence that decisions made will be sound and deliver the desired returns.

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Weak points to keep an eye on with a Conductor director

High activating directors may become frustrated that their visionary ideas are met with such scepticism, yet unlocking the value of data-centred thinking can support those great ideas to come to life and thrive.

A Conductor director who struggles to maximise their natural energy is one who fails to realise that asking the analysis and ‘how’ questions has a time and place. Hammering the creative process with ‘yes, buts’ can unravel innovation and agility.

Being efficient at a board level can also inhibit deep and meaningful debate. Conductor directors should be careful not to focus so much on numbers, return and optimisation that they fail to appreciate the real driver of high growth — people.

Conductors offer a refining eye

The Conductor’s contribution to a board will ensure that the organisation is streamlined and optimised for performance. They are ideal for manufacturing and large-scale process environments or where massive value can be unlocked through financial process improvement.

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Their razor-sharp and factual approach can bring focus, discipline and order, along with the harmony of synchronised effort directed with purpose.

Carl Bates
Carl Bates is a global entrepreneur, speaker, author, mentor and director. Currently based in South Africa, he is a dynamic entrepreneur from New Zealand who guides small to medium businesses to achieve Extreme Business Success.