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The Orpheus Model: Collaboration Builds Leaders

Implementation of Content Management, Enterprise-wide, (ECM) is a transformational activity that will impact existing systems and procedures.  It takes time to get people to begin thinking differently about how they work with unstructured content.  It’s not something that happens overnight but in small, incremental steps, that consist of a series of "aha moments”. 

Creating those experiences in large, global, organizations requires leadership by many people who are dedicated to helping those who they work with achieve more, take greater advantage of the resources they have, and find better ways of working.  Creating a network of leaders, people who can most effectively coach the people in their part of the organization is an essential part of an ECM Strategy.  In organizations where collaborative networking is the exception rather than the rule, champions who can drive improvements through the organization may need to be fostered.  This means establishing an infrastructure for the leadership network to collaborate on, setting its purpose, and helping it build its identity. 

Leadership is learned through the experience of leading.  As illustrated by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (see video) building a leadership group where each has a sense of shared responsibility requires a collaborative environment where each is listened to and where the focus is on working together to solve problems and finding the best way to work together.   Creating such a group of leaders requires that one model the desired behavior, coach others to take chances, and encourage critical discussions that are focused on finding the best idea rather than lobbying for ideas.

Yes, of course, governance committees, centers of excellence, councils, or working groups are useful in helping to form standards but this doesn’t replace the need for on the ground ECM heroes; people who will get the word out and educate on a day to day basis.  People who will do the detailed work of finding the solutions to the myriad of small problems and issues that people will face day to day.  These are the people who will own the problems, solve them, and show others how to work in new ways.

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