Goals and Visions

Those of you who know me personally will know that I work, by day, as a coach to companies using agile methodology to build software (see Redpoint’s website as well as my new blog). I’ve been reading Chet Richards book “Certain to Win,” which applies the strategies of USAF Col. John Boyd to business. Chapter IV, and pages 76-78 specifically discuss the importance of goals that are understood by the participants and a compelling mission.

Fairly standard stuff, I think for someone who’s been involved with a large enterprise in the last twenty years. But Richards’ book got me thinking: what about the Chicago Bass Ensemble is so unifying, exciting and compelling that players will be inspired to join me?

Because to be honest with you, the last 18 months or so for this group have been–except for the period in January and February 2012 where we had three performances–unproductive and uninteresting. Part of that is because of my own busy-ness with work (for instance, starting with Redpoint in March), but I think there is also some deeper/larger issue.

For instance, periodically I send an e-mail to a list of bass players I know, inviting them to join me in reading through bass ensemble literature. It’s always a bit difficult to find a time when everyone can get together–everybody’s busy, of course–but the response to my last invite was really dreadful, actually: only one person took the time to respond (you know who you are, and thank you!!). It makes me think: what I’m doing must not appeal to anyone else out there.

But that can’t be!

What I’m doing is very cool stuff. I just haven’t properly communicated it. And as trite as it might sound to those of you who are jaded business professionals, I need to craft a statement of my vision–my Vision–for the Chicago Bass Ensemble.

I’m going to use this post, and its comments, to start to try out statements about what I want this group to be. Your comments, thoughts, observations ARE very much welcomed.

Chicago Bass Ensemble Vision Statements – draft, with comments

  • to provide bass players an opportunity to perform high-quality chamber music [good, but generic]
  • to promote to the public the bass as an instrument, and the bass ensemble as an interesting group [high-falutin’?]
  • to demonstrate the bass as a serious, dramatic and exciting instrument [urgh, tedious language]
  • to bring the bass from the back of the orchestra to a starring role [too much negative connotation of the bass’ current role]
  • to present high-quality and dramatic chamber music [I like the breadth of this statement, it’s about music, not ‘bass music’]
  • to showcase…
  • to explore…
  • to dispel the myth of the bass as a clumsy low cousin [hahahahaha]
  • to have fun…
  • to challenge myself and other bass players to practice and perform at our highest level of ability and musicianship

What do YOU think? Are any of these statements more meaningful than others? Leave your comments . . .


One Response to “Goals and Visions”

  1. brendan finucane says:

    I like the one demonstrating the bass as ‘dramatic’ and ‘exciting’. Chamber music is nothing without the intensity and drama!

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