Hello everyone,

I just want to say I find the tools here extremely great and I struggle to figure out how to incorporate them into my weird bussiness. I hesitate to call it a small business because in a way I have somewhere around 50-100 virtual "directs" on any given project and I have 1 regular office staff who basically covers sales.

Bottom line, I have 100's of contractors working for me off site (writing music for films) and they COMPETE to have their work selected by our managers and specifically by the client (the film director). It's a massive process to manage. We have someone.

How do I do one on ones with a huge team that is spread all over the world? Do I need to divide everything up so there are lots of submanagers? we do have about 3 submangers who are charge of various activities.

How do I give nonrealtime feed back with the feedback model. There is a constant need for revisions on every piece of music so feed back is needed constantly.

Is there a better way to do this than on something like base camp?

How do you do a hotwash on with such a large virtual team, is doing it on base camp (non real time) okay? (how do you get that rapid fire feeling?)

I have constant contact with our one office sales person, it's a very small office - do I still need to specifically do one on ones? is there a modification I need to do?

any ideas for my very unique problems would be appreciated.


Matt Gates

Mark's picture
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Would you please describe the model a little more carefully?  I doubt you and I would agree on terms if you have 50-100 directs.  It could be, but I doubt it.

Do all of these folks work for you full time, and ONLY work only for you all the time?  ARe they free agents?  Do they get paid regardless, or are they paid a commission?  If there is competition for work, why would you give feedback to many if only one would be chosen?

Feel free to be quite specific.  We do this every day.  ;-)

Happy to help.


marcmozart's picture

Hi Matt,
I would love to have a chat with you. I run a similar company in popmusic songwriting and production - thats why I don't think your business is weird... however, you're the first person on here who's in a business quite similar to the one I'm in. Correct me if I'm wrong - I'd love to talk to more music managers!
My team consists of 13 people and they work in a (roughly) similar setup. I have worked on implementing MT practises for two years now listening to the podcasts over and over while reading a lot of Peter Drucker's work as a complementary source of information.

The first thing that comes to my mind is that I would recommend you to ask yourself most of the basic "Drucker"-questions like "What is our business?", "What should our business be?", "What is the right size of my business?", etc... (best described in Drucker's "Management: Tasks, Responsibilites, Practises")

If they're free agents, competing with each other, they're not really working for you. Somebody who gets turned down over and over by loosing competitions has no point in being loyal to your company, even if some of your guys are doing really well.
Mark once said that in my case the "peer feedback model" would be more appropriate. However, I have turned my "owner-run business" into a "managed business" that takes full responsibilites for getting my team work and pay. We pay them advances which they only recoupe if my company brings them work.

These are my first thoughts to your post. It would be great to get this discussion to a deeper level as I'm really interested in making MT principles work in what we do.