This is an excerpt from Larry P. English "Improving Data Warehouse and Business Information Quality", pp. 383-384:
Teamwork for Business Information Quality
Peter Drucker describes the new management models in the Information Age with the metaphor of the symphony conductor as opposed to the military chain-of-command hierarchy34. Working with a single composition, the conductor (Chief Executive Officer [CEO]) must interpret the music (establish the vision, mission, and objectives) and bring out from the musicians (workers) their skills in performing the music for the enjoyment of the concertgoers (the customers). There are a number of important parallels in this metaphor to Deming's Quality Point 9:
The musicians are all specialists. The violinists cannot play the trumpet parts nor can the flautists play the cello parts. In the same way, the business "functions" represent specialist roles in the business processes.
The conductor, as the CEO and leader of the orchestra, is accountable for the musical performance, and for bringing out the best in the performers. In the same way, management is the leader of the enterprise, and must bring out the best in employees. Management must provide its interpretation of what the enterprise must accomplish. It must make clear what is expected of the each section of the orchestra.
The orchestra plays from a single music composition. In the same way, the business must operate from a common vision, to achieve a common end.
A successful performance can only occur when the orchestra plays ensemble. Ensemble is from the Latin word that means "working together." It is this ensemble, or "teamwork," that transforms a simple performance into an enjoyable performance for the concertgoers. Successful business that brings customer satisfaction occurs when all parts of the business value chain work together in ensemble.
The concertgoers are the customers. It is the customers who judge the quality of performance of the orchestra. A quality performance may be recognized by a standing ovation. In the end, no matter what "objectives" the enterprise has met, the customers have the final say as to the quality of products and services. They demonstrate their satisfaction by coming back again — or by going to the competition.
There are no conflicting objectives or competing incentives among the orchestra players. The trombonist does not compete with the clarinetist by trying to "drown out" the clarinet passages. Nor does the bass viol player compete with the violist to "finish first." The performance measures are simple. Do the players make music together? Business must examine its performance measures from this metaphor. Performance measures must be team-oriented. They must incent teamwork and encourage working together for common goals without being penalized. Consider performance measures for musicians such as "how many notes can you play per minute" or "who can finish their part first." This would be ludicrous. If business management creates individual incentive mechanisms, it must expect suboptimal behaviour by talented people, and frustration and morale problems along with decreased productivity by those who do not "measure up," and decreased customer satisfaction.
34 Peter Drucker, The New Realities, New York: Harper & Row, 1989, pp. 212-213.