The Story behind Orchestrate
We first launched Orchestrate back in 2006. By then we had already become market pioneers, leading a new wave of collaborative team building products. Our burgeoning blue-chip client base appreciated our intuitive approach, as the choice of team activities back then was limited to outdated competitive values. Catalyst were setting new trends in the team building industry. We were moulding team building activities to reflect emerging company values of that period: Passion, Integrity, Excellence and One Vision.
To a certain extent, Orchestrate was born out of our own success. Having established ground breaking products, like Big Picture, and Beatswork, we had client trust. With the added pressure of a very healthy repeat business rate we were forced to innovate to meet the annual demands of our clients.
Then came the big question: what next? What activity is congruent with this new value stream and how can we mould it into an engaging and practical reality? The answer was relatively easy - an Orchestra! But, the development as a team exercise was another story, and one that challenged our collective experience as game designers to the max.
Finding the maestro
We set about researching talent that could help make Orchestrate a reality, and having contracted a well known composer, renown for several famous BBC scores, we gave him the most challenging brief of his career: Write a score with seven or eight instrument sections, that builds to an uplifting finale, with each section playing a limited number of notes. And, one more thing, uh, yes all and the musicians playing… they will be complete beginners.
That composer was a total pro, and absolutely nailed the brief with an exclusive musical score for Orchestrate called Universe. This, coupled with some clever ‘accelerated tutoring’ techniques,gave us the tools for a first test run with forty friends, family and work colleagues. Having fined-tuned the experience through rigorous ‘in house’ testing, we were confident, and ready to launch the product for real.
We risked investing around £60K in instruments, and invited clients, events agencies, producers and the press to a 100+ launch event in London (the invitees were to be willing participants). A nerve wracking moment for sure. Not only valued clients, but the national press were there. It was a total success, and certainly a milestone in my team building career in bringing it all together.
The concept develops, popularity grows
With this confidence we went on to sell many events, positioning a focal point of highly produced conferences and meetings in the UK. The Catalyst partner in France then developed the concept further with a version of Carmina Burana. This version spread this around the globe, and today over many Catalyst partners sell Orchestrate. With a vast network of facilitators, and instruments positioned around the world, Orchestrate is pretty much available in any location. Our partners share resources to help make Orchestrate a reality for clients who appreciate quality, and who want the ultimate team building challenge.