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How to create joy like the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Recently, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra posted this fantastic video of several members playing their individual parts of Beethoven's Ode to Joy that was assembled along with an archival recording of the final choir segment.

This 4-minute video titled, "From us, for you" has received by over 2 million views and has brought "joy" or likes to over 45,000 people.

In today's climate of limited physical contact, the Rotterdam Phil broke traditional thinking that music is only available in person and experimented with delivering

a virtual experience that most likely garnered them more viewers than had in a season.

Here are a few suggestions for thinking differently from the book called Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley.

1. STEP BACK FROM OBVIOUS SOLUTIONS. Instead of trying to invent a better mousetrap, for example, look at other ways to mouse-proof your home. Maybe the mousetrap isn’t the problem.

2. ALTER YOUR FOCUS OR POINT OF VIEW. John F. Kennedy charged Americans to “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country,” encouraging us to rethink our rights and obligations. Changing your point of view often means shifting focus to a different stakeholder: to a parent instead of a child, or a car buyer instead of the car dealer.

3. UNCOVER THE REAL ISSUE. Decades ago, Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt observed, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!” If you only asked questions about drills, you might miss out on the possibility of using lasers to create small precise holes like the ones in some laptop speaker grills.

4. THINK ABOUT THE OPPOSITE. Flipping the question around can be a useful tool for getting past preconceptions or routine ways of thinking so that you can see the situation in new ways.


The Rotterdam Phil didn’t wait, they tried, and it looks like they enjoyed trying as playing music is their passion. To create joy, try to tackle a doable part of the problem, narrow the goal and make it happen.



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