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The Collective Wisdom

There is something about the way music is put together and performed which can help us all work and play better with each other
If you're a musician, with your musical qualities, you can bring your own 'wisdom of the collective' to help people be better together.

And who might need 'The Wisdom Of The Collective'?  Here are just a few of the many ...

  • Health and Social Care managers

  • Local Government Teams

  • Boards of Directors

  • School/College Leadership Teams

  • Sales Teams

  • Marketing Teams

  • Civil Service Teams

  • Military Teams (Agile Mission Groups)

  • Website Development Teams (where a large enough group of them work together)

And what can teams do who have acquired collective wisdom?

  • They can work more confidently with the unexpected

  • They are able to respond ‘rationally’ to the ‘irrational’

  • They make better choices in difficult situations

  • They endeavour to develop and deepen their intuition both as an individual and part of a group

  • They are better able to process and work with the unforeseen

  • They can more easily make sense of the unfamiliar  

  • They discover how individuals can be heard, valued and respected in the group dynamic 

  • They learn the value of ‘mistakes’ and how they can be accepted and worked with as potentially interesting material

  • They develop and encourage reciprocity (give-and-take) between individuals in a group situation

  • The learn how to make brilliance possible without the burden of 'always having to get it right'

  • They deepen and extend the experience of listening and hearing

  • They learn a new understanding of themselves and others without language

  • They work more comfortably with paradox and contradiction

  • Their appreciation and understanding of group and individual intention deepens

  • They more able to handle conflicting ideas creatively

  • They learn to balance the needs of both the individual and the group

  • They develop a deep sense of group creativity and learn how to encourage it in others

Collective Wisdom
The Essentials:


The Mastering Chaos: The Musician's Way Model is based on the interaction between two aspects of human behaviour; how well organised we are as a group, team or organisation, and what we base our decisions on; reason and emotion.

Ranging from Formal to Informal outlines the autocratic to the anarchic. It is also indicative of the presence or otherwise of leadership. At the most controlled end of the spectrum lies totalitarianism, chaos lying at the other end. In the middle lies varying degrees of formality or informality.


Bridging Reason & Emotion produces for us a range which varies from the strictly rational, evidence-based scientific approach right across to the way we get a 'sense' of something, we might just take a guess at what's happening, and even the mystical.  Placing oneself centrally on this spectrum gives us the flexibility to use both our intuition and our rational abilities in equal measure.


It needs to be said though that this includes the mental space of believing something is 'right' even when we're wrong.

By combining decision-making with levels of group formality or informality it is possible to define four STATES which appear everywhere in musical creativity. This is helpful because whilst we can readily witness these states in music, beyond music, whilst they are still present, they may not be so accessible. Musically they show the broad spread of human interaction and influence.  It encompasses both the best and, if taken too far, the worst of us.


Making music is what humans do that makes us different from all the other species on this planet. When we make music we aim to invoke the four states:





It is important to be aware that the states are not completely separate and distinct; they have a relationship with each other.  Knowledge and experience of each of the states is strengthened by familiarity with the other three.


Remaining in one state is therefore usually an unhelpful strategy. Moving flexibly between each as required is far more effective. For example, you might intuitively sense something feels right but you sensibly flip over to check you have the data (in other words towards Reason') to support your position. Although to some this is obvious you might be surprised how few humans actually do this.

In addition to having flexibility across the states, it is necessary to be aware of which state might be more appropriate for any given set of circumstances. Examining what might 'trigger' you into a negative state is a good place to begin. Knowing your triggers is helpful but knowing what state to replace it with is essential. 'Triggers' materialise from a pattern of responses you have repeated over time. Any of the four states described in the model could be the most appropriate response. Experience in the four states will tell you which one is best. It is worth finding the time to explore these states whenever you can to see what effect they have on your psyche. One of the safest spaces is in music, both listening to different types and also playing music of different kinds especially ones outside your comfort zone. 

To deepen your understanding ... goto The Mastering Chaos Blogs.

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