Jun 26, 2009

Standard work and Michael Jackson

Among all that's being said about Michael Jackson, he's perhaps most mourned as a performer who entertained and connected with huge audiences worldwide. Beneath the talent, however, you'd find close attention to standard work. Every second of every performance was timed and practiced to perfection by every member of the show, on and offstage. That would be true of Madonna or the Beatles, maybe even Taylor Swift or the Jonas Brothers.

Of course, standard work in music is nothing new--notation has standardized music for centuries. And how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

Standard work will fail if there is not enough practice. Time has to be set aside for people to get the timing right, synchronizing to takt time. If possible, experimental space and mockups allow for offline practice. Practice before performance allows a person to fail without negative consequences, and to try again and again until it's right. Observation and coaching helps to get motion efficient and safe from fatigue, strain, or other injury. When muscle memory can take over in performance of their role in the show, workers are free to think about the process and how to improve it with another round of offline experimentation and practice.

So add some imaginary song and dance to your day--maybe it's another way to look at the work your team is performing on your stage.

No comments:

Copyright @ 2005-2014 by Karen Wilhelm