Today, we are in Nashville, and we speak with Shain Shapiro – a globally recognised thought leader at the convergence of music, culture and urban policy. Shain is the CEO of Sound Diplomacy – a global research and strategy consultancy, and he also leads the non-profit Center for Music Ecosystems, which commissions research to help […]
The shorthand of Music Thinking is: Listen, Tune, Play and Perform. I call it the Music Thinking Mantra. You can do this over and over again – well, like a mantra. Wear the Music Thinking Mantra on a T-shirt Show that you are music thinking and wear the Mantra on your T-shirt as a statement, […]
Special edition on DDW with Louis Moeckel and his Toy Dolphin project In October, I visited the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. It is an event and showcase of Dutch design with exhibitions, studio visits, workshops, seminars, and parties across the city. One of the highlights of this packed week is the Design Academy Eindhoven’s […]
What is the use of standing still for 10 minutes? I was asking myself when I saw a post on social media. It was a double picture of a man with a mobile phone around his neck displaying some data, and another picture showed the view he saw at that moment. I learned that he […]
Nowadays, composers no longer work only for the concert hall or the opera stage. Today, a composer who creates the next symphonic work has become an innovator who can be active in a wide range of fields, from video to film, from sonic branding to sound identity of products and services. Today, we speak with […]
Today we are in Mumbai. We talk with Jeena Earthiva. Jeena is a Transformational Coach, a Producer with a master’s in Computer Science, an ex-Bollywood singer, the Founder of Conscious Music Code, and a ‘Mind DJ’. Jeena conveys her story of a successful Bollywood singer who lost her voice at the top of her singing […]
How to find a way out of chaos “Halt im Haltlosen” was the theme of the 10th SWF Forum in Berlin. More info here. There were many stimulating impulses from Sociologist to Climate Investigator, from Chess Grandmaster to Design Researcher, from Journalist to Head of the Collaborative Governance Lab – enriched with practical interventions from […]
We are in the in-between space; between music and business, education and performance, listening and understanding, and London and Tokyo. So, today we talk with Michael Spencer. Michael is the founder of Sound Strategies Ltd, a TEDx speaker, Visiting Professor at Ueno Gakuen University (Tokyo), and the Communication Director of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. He […]
This episode is about art, innovation and leadership. What is the relationship between art-based learning, innovation and co-creation? How do you lead an ensemble of leaders? Is a conductor actually just a middle manager? Today we are in New York and talking with Harvey Seifter. Harvey is the founder of The Art of Science Learning, […]
This is a special episode about listening in the field and some listening activities I did last month. Hear more about a short field recording in the middle of the most dangerous roundabout in the Netherlands, about the visit to my birth town in the South of Germany, where I have recorded the Turmbläser, […]
I am always on the lookout, searching and experimenting with visualisations of the dynamic strategy of music thinking. The idea of music thinking, the concept and, as I called it earlier, the music thinking framework, is a dynamic model to help individuals, teams, and organisations to work together better. And Ta-Taa!!!: Here is the Music […]
Today we touch base on the intersection between music and photography and that in many different ways. My guest today is Charles Brooks, an exceptionable photographer and musician, that for the last 20 years has been New Zealand’s most successful orchestral cellist. Charles held principal positions in Australia, China, Chile and Brazil, with concerts worldwide. […]
Is there a connection between a podcast and a symphony? Well, if you want, there is. Let’s rephrase that question: what is the ideal length of a podcast episode? And, the answer is: more or less the length of a symphony. Let me explain. The term symphony comes from a Greek word meaning “A sounding […]
Today we are in Singapore; we talk with Benjamin Pelzer, Assistant Professor of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University. Ben is trained in Music Theory and Psychology. He works as an assistant professor and scientist with expertise in the methods of cognitive neuroscience, machine learning, computational social science, […]
Are you listening? Are you Deep Listening? How do you move from scoring to listening? Well, composer Pauline Oliveros taught us how to use short instructions – she calls them Text Scores – to interact and listen deeply. What is it? A Text Score is a short instruction to engage (non) musicians in an activity. […]
What are the links between daily work for a multinational company, empathic storytelling and playing in a band? My guest today is Eelko Lommers, Global Director Product Experience Design at IKEA, creator, designer, writer of a (not yet published) novel and a musician in a post-hardcore band. We talk about empathy with clients, personality in […]
From the wild Punk scene in New York and London of the 70s to a sound healing practice in Los Angeles, my guest today is Jennifer Palladino, also called Dr Jen, a Doctor of Chiropractic, the Regional Director of the You Rock Foundation and a holistic health facilitator connecting mind, body and spirit with Chiropractic Sound Therapy. […]
What has political journalism to do with music? Well, quite a lot. My guest today is Matt K Lewis from West Virginia, a political columnist for the daily beast, former CNN contributor, TV commentator for MSNBC’s morning show, a podcaster on Matt Lewis and the News (pun intended) and musician. Matt shares with us that […]
We ‘talked’ with OpenAI ChatGPT and asked them a few questions. The pictures are generated with DALL-E and the instruction: a musician and a business person interacting nicely together in a painting in the style of Van Gogh, David Hockney, Salvador Dalí, and Jackson Pollock. Here is a copy of the chat window, including the […]
With a dedication to healthcare, my guest today is Rasa Priya. He worked in standard western medicine as a respiratory therapist in critical care settings for more than 30 years. Now, he has followed his calling into a more holistic approach and works as a sound healer with his wife in Maui, Hawaii. Rasa shares a […]
This is my epiphany story for 2023. It was in October last year. I was sitting alone in a dark, cold forest in the Pyrenees. As part of a Deep Listening course, we spread out in the woods to find a place where we could listen to red stag during the rut period and other […]
In The Power of Music Thinking podcast, we have conversations with exciting people that are also musicians. They see analogies between music and the areas they are working. So what they do is combine knowledge and skills from multiple fields to make significant contributions to various areas. In The Power of Music Thinking book, I […]
Well, it’s this time of the year. And I am not talking about the countdown until Christmas and the holiday. I am also not talking about ‘the word of the year’, or any other review compiled and curated by air quote “specialists”. I am talking about you, or better about your data, or even more […]
My guest today is Gabriella Di Laccio, public speaker, curator, activist, award-winning soprano and recording artist. She is one of the leading voices in the fight for gender equality in music. Listed as one of the BBC’s 100 most inspirational and influential women in the world, Gabriella is also the founder and curator of the […]
My guest today is Raf De Keninck, executive member, director of education, research, and organisation of the Design Academy Eindhoven – one of the world’s leading design schools. And Raf is also a performing musician, clarinet player and conductor. He played, for example, at the beginning of the 2000s, 300 concerts a year. We start […]
Tim Hughes, CEO of Digital Leadership Associates is the world’s #1 social selling influencer. He is a bestselling author and likes listening to vinyl. Tim has a podcast that he is producing live on Youtube, LinkedIn, Facebook and more platforms. Tim asked me if I would like to talk about my new book The Power […]
My guest today is Rikkert Achtereekte, customer director of sales and electronic musician. Rikkert works for the IT engineering company Schuberg Philis, which focuses on mission-critical processes. And Rikkert is a composer and performer of electronic music and gets together with some friends for a bi-monthly improvisation session on modular synthesizers. Rikkert shares insights about […]
What if you look at your business endeavour with a music mindset? Is it possible to find patterns and positions in music and then explore them in your work field? Let’s have a look at the key visual “Leadership Positions of Music Thinking” from the book The Power of Music Thinking. The book starts with […]
Today we are in Hawaii. We speak with Ukulele Player Dagan Bernstein, a teacher and musician passionate about designing and leading innovative educational experiences. Dagan is currently serving as Capstone Coordinator at an independent K-12 international boarding school in Hawaii with additional expertise in mathematics, music, and digital media instruction. We speak about collaboration in […]
A good way of bringing people and things together is to think of everything as an instrument. The music thinking framework allows you to think of all your different work tools, templates, or canvases as instruments. This is an effective way to bring collaboration into the workplace the same way musicians do it. Join Tony […]
Today you can listen to a conversation with Helene Seiyu Codjo and the sound of the shakuhachi. Helene is a shakuhachi performer, composer and teacher. “In the single tone of the shakuhachi, the whole of nature can be heard whispering its secrets.” Dean Seicho Del Bene We talk about the first memorable concert (there is […]
About Dutch Designers Magazine Dutch designers Magazine delves into the world of designers and the creative community around them. Who are they, how do they think and what fascinates them? How do they run their business? What work do they make and why, and how does their creative process unfold? Members get it for free, […]
The Dutch Podcast Masters Podcast is a series of episodes were podcast producers are interviewed to inspire listening and podcasting. We talk about the story of The Power of Music Thinking and how the podcast relates to the book. You hear why the episodes differ between 30 and 90 minutes. How to connect with international […]
In the (German-speaking) LEA podcast “Developing Organisations” you get hundreds of tips on what you can do to make (your) company better. That’s a promise by Christina Grubendorfer – an organisational consultant, moderator and podcaster. But not only that. You will be immersed in anything but superficial conversations. Every encounter with their guests is full […]
Download the template and use it in a presentation or discuss it with your team. What if you look at your business endeavour from a musical point of view? Let’s have a look at the key visual “From Soloing to Orchestration graphic” from the book The Power of Music Thinking that you can download at […]
Special edition: Today, we reflect on the changes in the music industry and how we listen to music, from live concerts to streaming – via vinyl, CD, and download. And we think about the impact of our choices, the impact on the environment and what medium and behaviour fit best to your listening experience. Further, […]
Today we are in München, Germany, talking to Björn Eichstädt, Managing Partner & Co-Owner of Storymaker and publisher of the digital magazine “J-BIG – Japan Business in Germany”. He studied Neurobiology and was active in experimental music in the 1990s and 2000s. Björn takes us on a trip to Japan. From J-Horror Films, Japanese Spirits, […]
Download the template and use it in a presentation. What if you look at your business endeavour from a musical point of view? How would the analogy with music help you to better understand your business, have meaningful conversations and take action toward a shared common goal? Let’s have a look at the key visual […]
Today we are in New Albany, Ohio. We speak with Paula White, a globally recognized sales leader, leadership coach and author of the book Side B: Remix Your Leadership Style. We talk about how music can (re)charge the way you are leading and how leaders can work on their behavioural traits based on music principles. […]
Thursday, April 14, we celebrated the book launch at the BIS Publishers office and store on the Borneostraat in Amsterdam, during an intimate ceremony. Harm van Kessel, one of the new owners of BIS Publishers, celebrated the official handover of the new book “The Power of Music thinking” to the author Christof Zürn. Christof has […]
Today we switch roles: Christof asked his daughter Xenia to ask him anything about the new book: The Power of Music Thinking. Because Xenia was already a collaborator on the Jam Cards, a pre-reader of the new book and worked with her dad for many years, she can ask questions no one else could or […]
Last week we did a music thinking lecture at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam) as part of the AURORA International Co-Creation Learning Lab. Video of the co-creation In three steps, Danny La Haye, Wolfgang Stark and Christof Zürn teamed up to co-create a practical music thinking intervention:Bass and Saxophone to explain different positions a co-creator should use in a free improvisation based on […]
Today we speak with Marc Shillum, Designer, Creative Mind and trained musician. Marc was the founding Chief Experience Officer of Matternet, a pioneering transportation startup awarded World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer. In his role, he connected the dots between Customer Needs, Hardware Design, Software Design, User Experience, Visual Design, Business Strategy and Brand Building. Marc […]
In this short episode, we look back on some conversations from last year, share tips and short exercises like a 1-minute ritual before a brainstorm and the listening walk.
Epiphany 2022 What is the use of ideas if you cannot share them with others? This was a question that teased me for some time. I developed a framework and ideas to bring musical principles to the business table many years ago. The idea was to learn from the international, universal and multifaceted world of […]
How do you bring humanity to work? How do you connect with your team on different levels? What are your rules of engagement in work? Today, we are in New York, and we talk with Jim Kalbach. Jim is a noted author, speaker, musician, and instructor in design, customer experience, and strategy. He is currently Chief […]
How do you design for inclusivity? How do you get the right people on the team? What would a studio look like for a service designer? Today on the show we have Gerry Scullion. Gerry is the founder of This is HCD, the global human-centred design podcast and international design community of change-makers, and he […]
Why do people tip up to six times more than they already have paid? How do people deal with adversity? What do Jazz and Business have in common? Today we are in Ottawa (Canada) talking to Adrian Cho, ex-IBM consultant, book author, wildlife photographer, artistic director of the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra, bass player and creative […]
How can you tell a story through food and music? What is Multi-Sensory Storytelling? Are all chefs drummers? Should prominent leaders start a band together? In this episode, Creative Companion meets the Creative Chef. We have a lively conversation with Jasper Udink ten Cate, artist, designer, futurist, keynote speaker, book author and drummer. He worked […]
What are the thrills of business? What are the similarities between the technology and the record industry? And what is situational leadership? In this episode, we connect with Padraic McMahon, Customer Success Manager at Hubspot, a software company that helps businesses grow. Padraic has worked in Management positions at Google and LinkedIn. Before that, he […]
Can we be successful in more than one field? What about the multiple me’s we have developed in different areas? What does cross-pollination in leadership mean? Today we are in Finland, my guest is Ilkka Mäkitalo – musician, teacher, CEO, Co-Founder of Howspace and Conductor of Jyvaskyla Big Band. We chat about instruments, jazz and how […]
Did you know that music can help you to rewire your brain? This episode is about the working of music on the brain and behaviour. My guest today is Artur Jaschke – neuromusicologist and professor for music-based therapies and interventions at the ArtEZ University of the Arts in Enschede and he also works at the […]
This episode is about listening – deep listening®. My guest today is Sharon Stewart – creator of sound works, musician, poet, researcher, piano teacher and deep listener. We learn about the Center for Deep Listening® at Rensselaer and the retreats that were held by composer Pauline Oliveros and the many ways to listen, for example […]
This episode is about Innovation patterns and improvisation in organisations. Today, my guest is Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Stark – teacher and researcher specialised in organisational and community psychology and visiting fellow at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. With natural sounds, like birds and wind in the background, we talk about how to co-create the sound […]
We talk with Nifemi Aluko – Founder and CEO of kpakpakpa and author of the book Press Play, Music as a catalyst for change. Nifemi is a traveller between California and Nigeria and – as he calls – a Youtube inspired bedroom producer. We talk about his journey from a chemical engineer to an advisor […]
Gerry Scullion, the founder of This is HCD, the global human-centred design podcast and international design community of change-makers, and Founder and CEO of This is Doing.com is talking with Christof Zürn They chat about the interrelationship between Design and Music and what Design can learn from thinking like a musician. Gerry, as an ‘ex’ […]
Today in the programme we have Steve Keller from Oakland California and we learn more about sound art, sound science and sound business. Steve has a great title: Audio alchemist and Sonic Strategy Director, Studio Resonate at SXM Media. We talk about audio-only and audio first strategies in what he calls ‘the platinum age of […]
In this show, we talk about the mindset of entrepreneurship, leadership and design. We are in Boston and in Cyprus, we chat with Michael Hendrix, Partner and Global Design Director at IDEO and with Panos Panay, Vice President for Strategy & Innovation at Berklee College of Music. Michael and Panos talk about their experience as […]
We talk about the blockchain philosophy, the concept of tokens and starting a cooperative with a joint goal and purpose. We talk with Roy Scheerder – co-founder of the dutch cooperative Faebric. In this episode, we speak about Roy’s journey from hospitality to the lean and mean asset machine of the airline business and how […]
In this very first episode of the brand new podcast The Power of Music Thinking, your host Christof Zürn will tell you about the background of this podcast. Who he is, why he started a podcast and what you can expect every two weeks. Christof is a seasoned professional in accompanying individuals, teams and organisations […]
THINK TWICE! The German podcast about innovation, values and change by and with Niels Benson & Friends. A podcast with a high nutrient density that does not string together the familiar buzzword phrases, but rather relates different perspectives, experiences, intentions and observations in an honest, holistic and interconnected way. Deutsch THINK TWICE! Der Podcast über […]
Best-selling author and global brand innovator, Mark Stinson talks with Christof Zürn about his creative background, music thinking and more
‘If you can’t adapt, adopt!’ I am fascinated by signs, language and what can come out of it. Take a musical score and compare it with the music played with the help of that score. Did you realise that before the invention of the phonograph, gramophone, tape recorder, record player, cd player, mp3-player and streaming […]
Are we asking the right question? How might we change the world? The unanswered question template might help (free download).
When the dutch railway’s asked Faebric to design and lead the integration of the commercial organisation with the IT department they choose to do this with the music thinking approach. Read the case.
This is story number 9 in the behind the cards series.
The time of thinking or asking questions is over. It is showtime, it is just doing, and the partners involved have to trust each other to create a seamless experience for themself and others.
Business improvisation in VUCA times. A 3-hour interactive lecture concert. An experiment in Zoom for 16 participants from various companies. Here is the introductory video with a very short glimpse of the first musical interaction..
The Listen Card [8/38] [behind the cards]
The essence of the Listen card is to establish active listening. Listening can be a leadership practice to move from knowledge to wisdom. Or in other words to find the signal in the noise. Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens a quote by Jimi Hendrix.
Guest Blog by Alcedo Coenen about the composition Plus-Minus by Karlheinz Stockhausen and what we can learn from this in creating a meta language.
We were invited to do a music thinking breakout session. The objective was to engage half of the conference (about 70 people) in a breakout workshop, let them learn and reflect about the things they heard and make a performance all together after the last actor to end the day with a big bang.
At the moment we are planning new courses open training en in-house training . Focus is on how to use music thinking in your organisation.
For the third time we will facilitate a Music Thinking breakout session during the Design Thinking Conference. This time we call our session The Sounds of Empathy.
In May we did one-day music thinking workshop for a very energised team of about 22 communication experts in a great venue in the black forest of Germany.
In April we did half-day music thinking workshop for an international think tank that stands for ‘brands with a conscience’. The idea was to generate new ideas for the celebration of their 20th anniversary in 2020.
Music Thinking is coming to Berlin with two new workshops in May. Learn about the new approach of music thinking to organisations and service design.
The Limitations Card [7/38] [behind the cards]
The essence of the limitations card is how can we de-focus from our experienced horizons and be curious about what else there is. This means take limitations as a start for new choices and divergent thinking to develop innovations.
The Entrainment Card [6/38] [behind the cards]
There are many books written about team building. Amazon lists more than 8.000 titles and a quick search on google results in 4.880.000.000 links, as of today.
The Journey Card [5/38] [behind the cards] The essence of the Journey card is to think about what our most important assets are. It means, what is the most important asset that we have to keep when we are going on a journey. …
The Jam Cards are quite open-ended and don’t really need specific instructions on how to use them. This means that the Jam Cards can be used to shape your own exercises and workshops, which is fun but might be confusing as well. To help you to get an idea on how to play with them, we explain in this blog post, with use of three variations, what your Jam Card session could look like: Serendipity Lab, Mix & Match, Strategy Jam.
Spotify Codes offer a brand new way for users to share and discover the amazing content on Spotify. It’s as easy as taking a picture. As you might have noticed, the Jam Cards have such a Spotify code on the bottom left corner.
The Creativity Card [4/38] [behind the cards] There are many books written about creativity and creativity is not just a skill or a magic wand that helps us when we are desperately looking for solutions for big problems. There are many ways of being creative, and this can be in small and simple but also in complicated or even complex situations.
The Understanding Card [3/38] [behind the cards] If we are aware of something new, that we recognise but don’t know what it is and can’t understand, we often tend to ignore it. Because it does not make any sense to us. This happens to us in business but also at home with our families and friends.
The Activity Card [2/38] [behind the cards] Everybody knows this or at least was in a situation where you got stuck into something. Especially when we are in a new position or new environment we sometimes feel limited and have the feeling to avoid making missteps or mistakes.
The Tools Card [1/38] [behind the cards] We spend time and money to find out who we are, how we can grow our business and the way that leads us to big hairy audacious goals. And from time to time we change this because we encounter new possibilities or constraints. But what about the things that help us shape this bright future?
We did a music thinking workshop during this year’s Design Thinking Conference in Amsterdam. Because Empathy is one of the six cues of music thinking we extend the theme to “through different ears” because music thinking starts with listening.
Now is the time for a blog about music thinking. Since the new music thinking website went online there is a lot to share. Find updates about workshops, new templates and read all the 38 stories from ‘Behind the Cards’, the background about every card of the Music Thinking Jam Cards, starting 20. October.