I discovered Jacob Collier recently, and then I saw he had made this video about harmony for Wired — and it features the legendary Herbie Hancock. What a fantastic breakdown of a complicated topic – and done in a way that resonates with each target audience. There is a direct correlation between musical harmony and organizational harmony. Let’s see how, as demonstrated so eloquently in this video: 


First, we learn at 0:53, “the more notes, the more exciting it is.” How true, and how many times is this overlooked in regards to diversity? Too often, diversity, in any form, is treated as a box to be checked instead of an exciting opportunity to add depth and excitement to an organization. It’s not about adding lots of notes without any real purpose — it’s about adding the right harmonies so that a single voice gains strength, power and impact.


Then at 2:15, we learn the opportunity offered through bringing disparate voices together in creative and interesting ways.  “That was really beautiful. I didn’t think that would work together, because there were two different sounds, but then it was just like, POW, Magic!”

How is your organization creating the space and freedom for that magic to happen? Do you have a culture where “POW” moments are possible?

From 3:58 to 4:45, we uncover the power of the collective story and the emotional nuance and complexity of every relationship. “Let’s add some more colors, and just see how things feel… harmony gives us more tools to tell our stories.”


At 7:10 we discover that we truly have unlimited possibilities, “Essentially what that demonstrates is that every note and every bass note are compatible. That’s great! Now what should we do? That’s when it becomes super important to be aware of what you want to say emotionally.” What is your organizational voice? What are you trying to say?

And finally, beginning at 13:18, we see what happens we when have achieved master level harmony. We work side by side, exploring all the available colors, listening intently to our harmony partners while simultaneously lost in our own imagination, together painting a collaborative masterpiece.

Close your eyes and imagine in your mind the sound of your organization. Is it rich in beautiful harmonies?

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