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Jo Geraghty

Director

Company Culture – Lessons from Eurovision

Date added: 13th May 2016
Category: Organisational Culture Change

We all have a winning vision but the way in which we see success being created and the markets we are trying to attract will vary widely

The sighting of the first swallow, the sound of the first cuckoo, blossom falling gently from the trees…. For many, these are the signs that herald the changing of the seasons from spring into summer. But for the last 60 years there has been another strong indicator that summer is almost here, the annual extravaganza which is the Eurovision Song contest.

From the inaugural competition in 1956 which was won by Switzerland through to the present day the contest has been as notable for its voting patterns as it has for its songs. And the way in which those songs were chosen gives a fascinating insight into different approaches to capturing the popular vote.

Do you go for something which will showcase the state of music in your country at the present time or would a more mainstream tune be preferable?  Are you unashamedly looking for the popular vote or should you use the contest as a testing ground for a breakthrough music style? Is your music to be fun, light-hearted or deadly serious and can you use your entry to highlight a cause or make a political point?

All these approaches and more have been tried over the years to varying degrees of success. And whilst there have been some notable winners (and failures) it’s fair to say that once the contest is over the majority of entries have simply submerged into the pool of musical oblivion.

So what’s this got to do with a winning company culture strategy? Well the way in which countries choose to showcase their Eurovision entry can teach us a lot about the choices which we have to make in business. We all have a winning vision but the way in which we see success being created and the markets we are trying to attract will vary widely. Populist or specialist; middle-of-the-road or innovative groundbreaker; game changer or very representative of the company brand: when our vision is strong then we can build the culture, strategy and values which will deliver success.

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