In 1996, Talgam and a fellow conductor were asked to deliver a seminar on classical music to senior managers from a national bank; on the basis that “a little culture might be helpful, although we’re not exactly sure how”.
What followed was unexpected, as participants engaged in a free flowing exchange of ideas; drawing insights from the work of conductors, to reflect on their attitudes, values and priorities in the workplace and beyond.
Ever since, Talgam has studied the nature of leadership, and delivered talks - in-person and virtually - based on continuous dialogue, with participants from all over the world.
Itay Talgam finds metaphors for organisational behaviour -- and models for inspired leadership -- within the workings of the symphony orchestra. Imagining music as a model for all spheres of human creativity, Talgam created the Maestro Program of seminars and workshops.
Talgam's workshops aim to help everyday people develop a musician's sense of collaboration, and a conductor's sense of leadership: that inner sense of being intuitively, even subconsciously connected to your fellow players, giving what they need and getting what you need. It's this art of listening and reacting in the moment that makes for a swinging jazz combo, a sublime string quartet, a brilliant orchestra -- and great teams at work.
His 2009 TED Talk, ‘Lead Like the Great Conductors’, has been viewed over 4 million times and is frequently cited as an essential watch for aspiring leaders; in the company of talks by Sheryl Sandberg, Simon Sinek, Dan Ariely and Margaret Heffernan, among others.
His first book, ‘The Ignorant Maestro: How Great Leaders Inspire Unpredictable Brilliance’, was published in May 2015 by Portfolio (Penguin Group). Here, Talgam explores the nuances of leadership by describing the distinctive styles of six world-famous conductors; from the commanding Ricardo Muti to the master of dialogue Leonard Bernstein. All took a different approach to the age-old leadership dilemma; how to maximise both control and creative freedom at the same time.
A native of Tel-Aviv, Talgam received his Artist Diploma in conducting from the Jerusalem Rubin Academy. He then studied in France, Italy, and the US. He is also a graduate of General Philosophy studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.