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NOTE: Since 2009 the title of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (IJEE) has been changed to the title above. ISSN numbers: IJEE 1649-2269 and IRE 2009-2822
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Precision and Paradox - How Creative Teams Work
IRE Vol 9: Issue 1, 2011
Author(s): Paul Robertson (Founder and leader of the Medici String Quartet resident at the University of Surrey, UK)
Inroduction Summary by Daniel Hjorth and Robert Austin (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
With this piece, we initiate in the International Review of Entrepreneurship (IRE) what we intend as co-editors of Senate Hall's forthcoming new journal for 2012, the International Review of Management (IRM); a section we call “Learning from Contemplative Masters.” Here we’ve asked Paul Robertson, who for nearly four decades led and played first violin for the Medici String Quartet, to say what he thinks is most important about a topic he cares about deeply in a style that he thinks gets the ideas across best. He’s chosen to write about leadership of creative teams and in an artistic, philosophical style from which leaders in all fields can learn. Paul speaks with tremendous authority on this subject, of course. As a collaborative, creative activity, performing in a world-class string quartet is surely at or near the boundary of human experience. A group of four people work intimately together for years on devilishly difficult work aspiring to go beyond mere technique to reach greatness.
So well known is Paul Robertson for achieving greatness, that the celebrated and ailing British composer Sir John Tavener recently reached out to him to ask that he take on responsibility for the world premiere of “Toward Silence: A Meditation on the Four States of Atma,” a musical composition for four (yes, four) string quartets and a Tibetan Singing Bowl. “Toward Silence” might be interpreted as an allusion to the journey of its author toward a final end — premiering it is thus a great honour and responsibility. On April 23, 2009, the “Toward Silence” was performed for the first time at the Rubin Museum of Art, with four quartets arranged around an atrium each on a different level of the four story-high space. The piece has since been performed several times in many venues, including Winchester Cathedral.
D. Hjorth & R. Austin, International Review of Management co-editors.
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