The 5 Seconds Model

In search of ›high-performance DNA‹

Whether in sports, business, culture or politics – all high-performing teams display specific success factors that distinguish them from the merely good teams. But in what way do top teams ›tick‹ differently?

The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen’s unconventional route to artistic and economic success was the basis for its collaboration with Dr Christian Scholz, Chair of Business Administration at Saarland University in Saarbrücken. Together, they analyzed how the orchestra consistently succeeds in delivering top performance, regardless of the given conditions in each case. The key to high performance was thus discovered and described for the first time in a generally applicable principle.

The formula for success is not perpetual harmony, but a conscious focus on dissonance and the tension of conflicts. This recognition led to the development of a training method for high-performing teams – the ›5 Seconds Model‹ – which is often booked by firms for coaching managers and top executives in business and industry. Here, workshop participants experience at first hand the thin line that differentiates the excellent from the very good, for example by picking up the conductor’s baton themselves or communicating effectively without speaking.

The logic of contradiction

Dissonance as a source of energy

In music, ›second‹ refers to the smallest interval between two adjacent notes on a scale. When played in sequence, the impression is one of progression. However, if several seconds are played simultaneously, a state of tension is created that intensifies the more seconds are added, and inexorably presses for change.

The 5 Seconds Model makes it demonstrably clear that at top performance level apparent opposites provide an indispensable dynamic for change – by harnessing the energy of contradictions. With the common goal in mind, apparent paradoxes become a factor for sustained success.

The management training book

Getting the measure of top performance

What teams can learn from The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen’s 5 Seconds Model is also summed up in a book, in which Prof. Dr Christian Scholz and Albert Schmitt analyze the rules of success for high-performing teams in what makes for a fascinating read.

The authors:

Albert Schmitt, manager, musician, speaker and author, has been Managing Director of The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen since 1999. He lead managed the Kammer­philharmonie’s strategic reorganization and its rise to a world-class orchestra.  For his varied commitment, Albert Schmitt received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2015. As co-author of the book ›Hochleistung braucht Dissonanz‹ (›High Performance Requires Dissonance‹), he is a sought-after speaker in Germany and internationally.

University Professor Dr Christian Scholz was appointed Chair of Business Administration at Saarland University in Saarbrücken in 1986. His main field of research is organizational management and in this context also high-performance teams. His major publications include the trend study on Darwiportunism (2003) and Generation Z (2014). Scholz has been included on Personalmagazin’s list of the 40 leading figures in human resources management a total of six times and is also listed in its ›Hall of Fame‹.