What does BTFI mean?

Buildingateam are part of BTFI

Buildingateam are part of BTFI Limited. No, we are not the British Turtle & Frog Institute. BTFI stands for going beyond self-imposed limitations and excelling yourself in the most committed and compelling way.

This story explains what BTFI means:

The BTFI Story

What does BTFI Mean?“A student from Spain, a member of my Wednesday Sonata and Lieder class at the New England Conservatory, asked me to coach him in preparation for an audition for the position of associate principal cellist of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra.
He played his pieces through with elegance and accuracy. It was playing of an absolute standard, the kind of performance that would, I told him, gain him entry into the ranks of an orchestra.
However, it lacked of flair and the characteristics of true leadership – not only command of colour, intensity, drive and passion, but the energy to take people beyond where they would normally go. We started work on the pieces – I played the piano, sang, coaxed and urged him on until his rather formal restraint broke down, and he began to play from the heart and throw all his passion and energy into the soaring passages of the Dvorak Concerto. In the middle of one of his most impassioned utterances, I stopped him and said, “There, that’s it. If you play that way, they won’t be able to resist you. You will be a compelling force behind which everyone will be inspired to play at their best.”
He wiped the sweat from his brow and from his cello and we retired to the kitchen for a spaghetti dinner and a bottle of good red wine. As he left the house that night, I shouted behind him, “Remember, Marius, play it the second way!” “I will!” he called back.

Three weeks later he telephoned.
“How did it go, Marius?” I was eager to know.
“Oh”, he said, “I didn’t make it.”
“What happened?” I asked, as I prepared to console him.
He answered matter-of-factly, “I played the first way.”
“Never mind, Marius”, I said. “You will have other chances.”
In my mind I vowed to work further on releasing his enormous capacity for expression. But it turned out that he had discovered how to break through the gates himself.
“No, no, no”, he said. “You haven’t heard the whole story. I was so peesed off, I said, ‘Fock it, I’m going to Madrid to play the audition for the principal cellist in the orchestra there!’ – and I won it, at twice the salary of the other job.”
“What happened?” I asked again, in amazement.
He laughed. “I played the second way!”

From then on we had another new distinction in the class, called Beyond the Fuck It, which fast became part of the folklore of all my classes, and showed up the students as a spiritedness in going beyond where before they might have stopped.
Several months after my visit to a Catholic girls’ school in California, I received a letter from the headmistress, informing me that BTFI had become their unofficial school motto.

Benjamin Zander, Conductor Boston Philharmonic Orchestra

This inspiring story is featured in Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander’s book “The Art of Possibility”. It is full of other gems and for further details, click here:

The BTFI story sums up our own attitude and ethos about working with people and clearly demonstrates how much more can be achieved when we begin to let go of some of our self imposed constraints. “Playing the second way” invites you to work at your edge and unlock your potential. As an organisation we strive to live this simple message in all that we do

Buildingateam use arts & performance to create extraordinary Team Building events:

Contact BTFI or email us at info@btfi.co.uk if you would like to develop an extraordinary team with Buildingateam.