The ESC Workplace: Enjoy the Show!

Successful organizations keep communication flowing in both directions, including tough conversations.

The Eurovision Song Contest will be presented on May 10th, 12th and 14th of 2016. For those of us outside Europe, you can stream the contest in real time or watch it again after its conclusion via the Eurovision website and their WebTV page.

The Eurovision Song Contest is viewed by millions of people across Europe, and even more across the world. Australia, who are participating in the contest for the second year in 2016, have been watching the contest for years. This year also marks the first year that the United States will broadcast the Grand Final on Saturday on the Logo Channel; US viewership will no doubt be helped by the news that Justin Timberlake will perform at the halftime break during the Grand Final as well.

ESC Behind the ScenesAnyone with any experience in special event planning will readily admire all of the coordination, effort and teamwork that go into pulling off a production on the scale of the ESC. All of the logistics between regular contest organizers and the on-site crew, technical demands on the crews who must provide proper lighting/sound/spectacle for each act and rotate between them with only minutes to make a change, transporting participants to and from the venues, making sure people are properly fed and otherwise provided for…it’s a huge undertaking. Don’t believe me?  Just ask me about the time they ran out of coffee at a statewide conference I attended once….

How does this tie into work? Any organization requires the same amount of effort to go into keeping that organization afloat. Sure, the management doesn’t necessarily have to provide a stage for employees to perform musical acts for their colleagues, but without some attention paid to the running of every part of the organization, it will fall apart just as surely as failure to pay attention to the lighting rig will result in chaos on the night of the big show.

ESC Behind the Scenes 2While guidance from the top is vital, the top cannot be involved in the day-to-day of every aspect of their organization. Not only are there not enough hours in the day, but too much micromanagement is stifling to the people and the departments below them, which can hamper progress and growth for the whole organization. Because of that, successful organizations keep communication flowing in both directions, including tough conversations. It is only through that level of communication and cooperation that an organization can survive and thrive.

Eurovision continues to attract millions of viewers year after year, in spite of all of the camp, politics and competition, because at the end of the day everyone involved is working towards the same goal; producing great music and a great show. Each country’s interpretation of what constitutes good music may differ wildly. They may use an act to convey a political message to the wider world. But because they have a unified goal of producing a great show, they are able to coordinate through the amazing maze of logistics to ensure that the show as a whole is a success. It’s a lesson that many organizations would do well to learn.

Now it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

To learn more about the ESC and Workplace Culture, click here.
To measure your level of commitment to larger goals as demonstrated by ESC, click here.
To see tips for dealing with flash-based colleagues, click here.
For tips on handling office copycats, click here.
For advice on the politics of the workplace, click here.

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