Even the finest symphony orchestra, without its conductor and a score, only makes noise. Each player plays his favorite composition in his own tempo and key, and they drown each other out and hide their melodies and their virtuosity in the confusion. No matter how well they play, the audience will walk out of the hall.
Florida Life Sciences is like that orchestra, except that not only do we not have a leader and a score, we live in different parts of the city so we don’t even get together to practice. We spend a lot of energy but the audience doesn’t come – and we shouldn’t be surprised.
But classical music is so eighteenth century. We should look at the modern jazz/rock band for a better model. Now, the leader is usually one of the players. He or she chooses the song and sets the tempo and key. Then, the band plays together for a few bars, takes turns on their on variations of the song, and comes together for the last few bars. This model requires even fewer players to make great music and, more importantly, it can change with the times, adding new players and new instruments and choosing newer songs.
One thing remains the same with both, however. Both the orchestra and the band have someone – the classical composer or the rock music director – who chooses the melody and the orchestration and arranges the music. That person, seldom one of the players, insures the music is consistent and identifiable (think Mozart or the Allman Brothers). That way, even if you have never heard the particular music being played, you know right away whose it is.
So what are the lessons for Florida Life Sciences?
- We need leadership, probably like the jazz band, to choose the song and set the tempo and key.
- We need some professional, outside help, to make sure our style (i.e., brand) is consistent and identifiable and do the arranging.
- And since no music is made until someone starts to play, we need to stop talking and start playing.