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Six Steps to Orchestrating a High-Performing Staff

In July 2016, more than 7,500 musicians gathered at a football stadium in Frankfurt, Germany, to form what would become the world’s largest orchestra. Led by German conductor Wolf Kerschek, the giant ensemble performed excerpts from famous symphonies by Dvorak and Beethoven, with Kerscheck projected onto a 550-square meter video screen. This, according to one event organizer, was how they overcome one of the biggest challenges—getting all the musicians to play at the same time.

Orchestrating Talent

Are you currently a one-man-band or a small trio trying to get to the next milestone in your business? Is it now time to bring on the right players to make your business heard around the world? Growing from a small but mighty team to world-class orchestra successfully means placing the right instruments in the hands of those most equipped to play those instruments and conducting them to play in harmony.

As companies grow and new roles are needed, placing additional responsibilities on those with intimate knowledge of the business—simply by virtue of having been there the longest—is a surefire way to become paralyzed. Having the wrong talent in the wrong positions harms the business overall. The impact inevitably leads to fewer sales, poor morale and higher operating costs.

How can you fine-tune your organizational strategy and grow your business to orchestral proportions? By putting the right instruments in the right hands before providing the sheet music. Here’s how.

1. Start With a Task List

Without a prioritized list of what actually needs to be done, how can you identify who is truly qualified to do it? If, for instance, you don’t have a marketing plan, there’s no getting around the fact you need the specialized expertise of a seasoned marketing professional. If you have an ambitious team member interested in learning marketing, great—encouraging that person to support the endeavor rather than lead it will set everyone up for success. Using a task-based approach will help you better align your talent acquisition strategy with your current staffing needs so that you can fill those roles strategically and avoid placing undue strain on your existing resources. When everyone’s in sync, a beautiful chorus will resound.

2. Create Actual Roles and Descriptions

Got your to-do list? Fantastic! Now you can get to work writing job descriptions for each and every role. That’s right—this exercise isn’t limited to external staffing, as every employee within the organization should have a full list of responsibilities against which success can be measured. As we often see with small to medium-sized businesses, in particular, people tend to rise through the ranks without ever receiving an actual job description, but rather, an ever-evolving list of tasks. Don’t make your cellists learn the trombone just because they seem capable. Give them the opportunity to truly excel at their own specific position.

3. Identify Where Your Job Roles Link

Now’s the time to take a good long look around the room and determine whether the talent you need to fill the roles you’ve defined exists among your current staff or must be brought in from outside the organization. If it’s already there, great (though that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook from onboarding and training—more on that in a minute). If it’s not there, you can then focus on pursuing candidates whose profiles align with the needs of the organization rather than trying to force a bunch of flutists behind the drums.

4. Onboard New & Existing Talent

Whether you’re promoting from within or hiring externally, a formal onboarding and training process is critical to the success of your employees and your business. Without these protocols in place, not only are staff being set up for failure, but it can end up creating the same type of bottleneck we’re trying to avoid in the first place, with things inevitably dead-ending at the already over-filled desk of the CEO. Managing up and over is great, but there needs to be a system in place to facilitate a smooth and productive transition—and it’s usually best if people actually want to pick up a new instrument.

5. Assume Your Position

As a business leader, it is your job to set the vision of the organization and to ensure all of your resources are working together to support that vision. While a conductor may very well know how to play multiple instruments, that person’s talents are much better utilized empowering the musicians to play theirs at peak performance. As the conductor of your business, you have to take a step back and focus on maximizing your teams’ varying skillsets, aligning them with roles that optimize their unique talents.

6. Consult an Expert

A third-party partner skilled in organizational strategy can help you identify gaps in your staffing structure and make recommendations around how best to fill those gaps, resulting in the sweet sound of a happy staff and healthy business. It all starts with creating a list of the most critical positions currently being left unfulfilled and pinpointing who the most talented people are to fill them—whether they’re inside or outside the organization. From there, it’s all about developing a comprehensive plan for onboarding new and existing talent so everyone can learn to play in unison.

Ready to grab your conductor’s baton and lead your staff to perfect harmony? Buzz Beauté can help. We’ve supported some of the world’s leading beauty brands with their organizational strategies and are fiercely committed to helping companies win. To learn more about our integrated approach, or to schedule a consultation, contact us at

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