Special Edition, July 2003    

Greetings -

Welcome to CoachTALK a complimentary e-newsletter offering an eclectic, thought-provoking and aesthetic view of business and life. We hope it provides a peaceful but inspiring few moments for you on arrival. If you enjoy it, please pass it on to a colleague or friend.


A little over a year ago when I launched CoachTALK, I was cautioned about the amount of work it would take to put out a quality monthly newsletter. Nonetheless, I enthusiastically published and have greatly enjoyed creating it. And, I’m always pleased to hear from those of you who each month let me know you have enjoyed reading it.

This month, however, I’ve been getting e-mails of a different sort. After having missed the May issue, people are asking, “Where are you?” And, because I may be delayed a bit further with regular publication, I wanted to let you know why you didn’t see CoachTALK last month and what’s been happening.

In short, I’ve been overwhelmingly busy trying to save the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra from bankruptcy. The story to date follows - it’s all about keeping the Arts alive. I hope you’ll find it of interest.



Quotes from Coach Joyce K. Reynolds have appeared in:
The New York Times; The Wall Street Journal; The Chicago Tribune; USA Today; CareerJournal.com; American Airlines Magazine; Florida Trend; Microsoft's bcentral.com; Cosmopolitan; Working Mother Magazine; Learning/Discovery Channel/tlc.com; Sun-Sentinel; Glamour; Woman's Day; Sales & Marketing Management; Smart Money; Orlando Sentinel.


Plato wrote, "Music is moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness and a gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order and leads to all that is good, true and beautiful."

Yet, the music stopped on May 14, 2003 when the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Shortly thereafter, I was joined by one of my Philharmonic Chorus colleagues, CPA Richard Kendall and, later, by bankruptcy attorney Chad Pugatch in a serious effort to bring the Philharmonic out of Chapter 11.

I could write a book on the experience, but the ending is yet unclear. Whatever the outcome, I have – through this work - been given the rare opportunity to confront – then live - my philosophy. To act on the conviction that when we do what we believe in - with all our hearts and irrespective of the result – we are enriched beyond measure. That when we maintain our belief in the face of the impossible and allow for all feelings to be fully expressed along the way – joy, hope, elation, frustration, anger, fear among them – we are strengthened and enlarged and know what living is truly about.

In the end, I hope to report that - as Walt Disney said - “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

Chorus member leads move to save Florida Philharmonic
Lawrence A. Johnson,
Classical music writer

It will be poetic justice if, after all the pleas to the community failed, the bankrupt Florida Philharmonic Orchestra winds up being rescued by a part-time musician.

A group of investors led by a Philharmonic chorus member is expected today to unveil a plan for bailing the cash-strapped organization out of Chapter 11 and returning South Florida's only symphony orchestra to life in time for the fall season.

The effort is headed by Joyce K. Reynolds, a Fort Lauderdale business consultant who has been working behind the scenes since the orchestra's fiscal crisis was made public in April. She is also an amateur singer and has been a member of the Philharmonic Chorus' soprano section for 11 years.

Attempts to reach Reynolds were unsuccessful Wednesday night.

"They are prepared to take the Philharmonic out of bankruptcy and into a new organization," said a board member who says the blueprint is a workable one. "My guess is that this has a real chance of success."

Executive director Trey Devey said he has been in discussion with the group since before the orchestra filed Chapter 11 on May 14. Devey declined to confirm their identity Wednesday night but agreed that the group members were "real players."

"They're thoughtful, supremely intelligent leaders," Devey said. "It's a tall order, but I'm definitely encouraged."

A meeting of Philharmonic musicians was called Wednesday night at which they were informed of today's pending announcement.

The group's business plan reportedly calls for maintaining the Philharmonic as a full-strength symphony orchestra while reducing the length of its season and the number of concerts. The revised events are said to have several big names among the guest musicians, though it was not clear whether these were new bookings.

As always, the issue of money is the big question in this proposal. The Philharmonic has more than $2.5 million in debt, with a long line of creditors waiting to be compensated. Devey and board chairman Daniel Lewis estimated that it would take $4.5 million to get the Philharmonic through the 2003-04 season. Even with a drastically reduced schedule, at least $5 million would have to be raised for any successful effort at resuscitating the Philharmonic.

"If it's going to fly at all, they're going to need some working capital," said the board member. "That has yet to be seen."

The group is also facing a June 13 deadline when the 30-day suspension of the musicians' collective bargaining agreement ends. Union attorney Leonard Leibowitz says an extension can be granted if the group can offer to the court a realistic business plan and demonstrate that serious efforts at reorganization are under way.

Leibowitz was cautiously optimistic about the chances. "These people seem to be well-intentioned, and we will see what happens," Leibowitz said.

Reynolds has a solid reputation as a business consultant to major corporations. Her Web site lists several blue-chip companies and high-profile organizations as clients, including Microsoft, MasterCard, Noven Pharmaceuticals and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors' Bureau.

In a 2001 article on Business Wire, Reynolds stressed her belief that the first step in helping corporations get through severe crises is to remain calm.

"What everyone needs to realize," said Reynolds, "is that this is not an unmanageable crisis."

"Companies that stay strategically focused on the business purpose that brought them success will not only survive -- they will thrive. As is always the case, attitude plays a major role."

Lawrence A. Johnson can be reached at:
ljohnson@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4708.


The Music is Within Us
Mary Manin Morrissey

In the 1800's Paganini was an emerging violinist and composer. His dream was to play to a packed opera house in which the audience would jump to its feet with an ovation.

Then that evening came. It was time for his solo. But as the musician began to draw his bow, he felt this terror and sickness in his stomach because he realized that he had picked up the wrong violin, a far inferior one.

And then deep inside himself he heard: "Play with what you've got."

So he drew back his bow and he began to play. And he asked that even in this instrument, something might happen that, would make a difference for the gift of music.

As Paganini maximized what he had, the audience rose to ovation after ovation after ovation. He said: "Before tonight, I always thought the music came from my violin. Tonight I realized the music comes from me."

Often we have thought our miracle comes from the world, when the truth is, the only miracle that's real must come through us from that place in us where the spirit of God truly resides.

The music is within us.


Group Power

In assessing group power and place, futurist Maureen O'Hara, psychologist and dean of faculty at the Saybrook Graduate School in San Francisco says, “Don't believe all the recent buzz about the rise of the individual. As we move further into this next century, both our work and leisure activities will require stronger team, organizational, or community affiliations. At the same time, basic identity is splintering."

"All of this puts pressure on people to be a lot more psychologically flexible than ever before. People need what I call group empathy. That encompasses a whole set of higher-order mental skills: openness to learning, a capacity for self-criticism, low defensiveness, and the ability to process multiple realities and values."

"Coping with this level of complexity using mental equipment designed for a much simpler world creates massive stress. Failure to grasp the nuances of the group mind has real consequences for businesses: Group empathy is critical for effective teamwork and for getting a whole organization behind a new idea."

"Everyone must become a student of human nature in all its glorious complexity. Exercising new psychological muscles - tolerance, flexibility, empathy - becomes part of developing competence at work. That takes practice. Any coach can sense when a team is clicking. And he or she understands that the way to get a group to click is not by training individuals but by putting the whole group through its paces."

The resulting power that can be experienced and harnessed was summarized many years ago by Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”


©2003 by Joyce K. Reynolds. Duplication with credits only please. Click here for easy access to all books referenced. For complimentary 20-minute Coaching session e-mail jreynolds@jkr.net or visit www.business-coach.org. Click here to send this newsletter to a colleague. Executive Business Coach on bluesuitmom.com Click here to Unsubscribe. Newsletter maintained by Web Factum, LLC.