Every year in May, most Europeans spend one of their Saturday nights watching a #project that started in 1956 with a higher purpose: to bring people together through music and celebrate the diversity of European culture. I always say this is one of Europe’s few successful projects over the past 70 years. Unfortunately, our political leaders still don’t understand the power of projects. So let’s look at this amazing project.
History and Evolution
The idea for the Eurovision Song Contest was born in the 1950s, a time when Europe was still reeling from the aftermath of World War II. The competition was conceived as a way to promote unity and understanding across the continent through the power of music. The first contest was held in 1956 in Lugano, Switzerland, and featured only seven countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
Eurovision 1968 – Picture: Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
The contest format was simple: each country would submit a single song, and a panel of judges from each participating country would vote for their favorite entry. The winning country would then host the next year’s competition. The first edition was won by Switzerland, and the competition quickly gained popularity across Europe.
Over the years, the Eurovision Song Contest has undergone several changes and adaptations to keep up with the evolving music industry and changing political landscape of Europe. The number of participating countries has grown significantly, with over 40 countries now participating in the competition. The format has also evolved, with the introduction of semi-finals and new voting systems designed to give more weight to public votes.
Despite these changes, the festival has remained true to its original mission of promoting unity and understanding across Europe through the power of music.
It has also become a platform for cultural exchange, showcasing a range of musical styles, languages, and traditions from across the continent. The competition has launched the careers of many successful artists, including ABBA, Celine Dion, and Conchita Wurst. It has also had a significant economic impact on the host cities and countries. The competition attracts millions of viewers from around the world, generating significant revenue from tourism, advertising, and sponsorships. It also provides a platform for the host country to showcase its culture and attractions to a global audience.
A Marvelous Project
From a project management perspective, the Eurovision Song Contest is a wonder of organization. The competition involves dozens of participating countries, each with its broadcaster, selection process, and delegation. It requires coordination across multiple languages, time zones, and cultural contexts. Yet, despite these complexities, the contest has been a resounding success, attracting millions of viewers every year and generating a significant economic impact for its host cities.
So, what makes the Eurovision Song Contest such a successful project? There are several factors of the Project Canvas at play, including:
A Higher Purpose: The Eurovision Song Contest has a clear and higher purpose: to bring people together through music and celebrate the diversity of European culture. This purpose is communicated clearly to all stakeholders, including participating countries, broadcasters, performers, and fans. As a result, everyone involved is aligned around a common purpose, which helps to drive engagement and enthusiasm.
Strong Executive Leadership: The project is led by a team of experienced professionals who deeply understand the competition’s history, culture, and logistics. They can easily navigate the complexities of the event, providing guidance and support to all stakeholders as needed. They also manage risk, ensuring that the competition runs smoothly and safely.
Robust Planning and Execution: The festival is meticulously planned and executed, focusing on every detail, from the host city’s selection to the stage’s design. The organizers work closely with all stakeholders to ensure that the competition is of the highest quality, both in terms of production values and artistic merit. They also employ the latest technology and best practices to streamline the event’s logistics, ensuring everything runs smoothly.
Strong Branding and Marketing: The project has a strong brand identity that is instantly recognizable to fans across Europe and beyond. This brand is reinforced through effective online and offline marketing campaigns, which help build anticipation and excitement for the competition. The organizers are also adept at leveraging social media and other digital channels to engage with fans and promote the competition.
Strong Community Engagement: The Eurovision Song Contest has a passionate and dedicated fan base actively engaging with the competition. These fans are involved in every aspect of the event, from choosing the participating acts to voting for their favorite songs. This community engagement helps create a sense of ownership and belonging, further driving enthusiasm for the competition.
Europe (and the World) need more projects with a higher purpose The Eurovision Song Contest is not only a successful project from a project management perspective, but it is also one of Europe’s most exciting and beloved events. It has become an integral part of European culture, bringing people together from across the continent and beyond. The competition celebrates the diversity of European culture, showcasing a range of musical styles, languages, and traditions. It is also a platform for emerging artists to gain exposure and launch their careers.
In addition to the five books he has authored, Antonio has contributed to seven other business books.
Which other projects that generate such unity, respect for diversity and passion around the world should we launch?
Webinar: AI-driven Project Management Revolution – 14th May On May 14th, you are all invited to our next webinar on this topic that rapidly disrupts how we manage projects. We will focus on applications and practical tools and aim to share valuable tips and insights on maximizing your results with these tools already available on the market.
(We will share the recording with everyone who signs up.)
On the same note, we are thrilled to announce our new AI-Driven Project Management Masterclass, a transformative and unique event showcasing AI innovations applied to our work as project managers. The event will be split into two 4-hour interactive sessions featuring group studies and hands-on exercises to elevate your expertise.
Information about registration, a detailed program, and other practical aspects of this online Masterclass will be shared soon. For now, we suggest t save these dates: July 5th and 12th, from 14:00 a.m. to 18:00 a.m. CET (online).
Biannual Conference: The Great Implementation – 24th / 25th May On the 23rd and 24th of May, the Strategy Implementation Institute will be celebrating its premiere biannual conference with some fantastic speakers:
Paul Leinwand, from PwC’s strategy consulting group and author of “Strategy That Works: How Winning Companies Close the Strategy-to-Execution Gap.” Paul be discussing the leader’s role in strategy implementation.
Leeran Gold, a psychologist with Google in Singapore, will talk about workplace challenges.
Des Dearlove and Stuart Crainer, the cofounders of Thinkers50, will be sharing how to become a thought leader.
Announcement of the Inaugural Strategy Implementation Corporate and Individual of Year