Here is a testimonial from our most recent client. We had a successful teambuilding program held in Nashville, Tennessee.
When I first settled in South Florida after a long stint in Nashville, I struggled to find my creative tribe. I had left the songwriting capital of the world, a musical ecosystem built around daily collaboration, to run a large, non-profit dog rescue in Wellington. The opportunity to build a new team, create a revitalized culture and save the lives of man’s best friend was too tempting for me not to give it a whirl. I realized quickly that my experience as the Founder and Lead Facilitator of THE Song Team would not only still be relevant in this new venture, but rather would remain front and center in every professional setting I encountered moving forward.
Corporate team building in Florida, whether at the music-themed hotels Margaritaville, or The Hard Rock Guitar Hotel is more important than ever. Leaders who don’t have blinders on, recognize the value and set aside a budget to intentionally create programs and space for free-form collaborations. It’s the same stuff that created Apple or Google, that created hit songs of a lifetime such as any Lennon & McCartney tune, or the latest #1 hit for today’s country stars.
While I am always happy to get back to Nashville for our self-titled “Nashville style team-building, what I have found is that Musical Team Building in Florida can be every bit as relevant as it was in Music City USA. When we go through the process of ideating a song-concept that molds to the current narrative of an organization or company going through the continual process of evolving in this “Post-Covid” landscape, the excitement and revelatory expressions we see in participants faces for our songwriting/team building programs in Miami, Fort Lauderdale or Orlando are every bit as poignant as they are when we do these programs in Nashville.
Corporate team building workshops or our larger, experiential keynotes where we put notes to the page to form chords, and then combine those chords into an instantly hummable melody for the client are so effective in communicating new initiatives and products, combining corporate cultures after a merger, or launching a new service. Remember, we’re also organically teaching organizational story-telling. It’s this storytelling that connects with all of us out there searching for connection to the products and services we most frequently think we want or need.
So clear a wall in the common space of your workplace, paint it in chalkboard paint to create a collaboration wall, OR keep large, blank POST-IT pads in supply on that wall, or a large, dry erase board. Either way, encourage those ideas, and those re-vamped ideas, and those revisions of the revamped ideas… to keep coming. Encourage and reward the idea process. It’s what’s going to engage your employees and it’s what’s likely to give birth to the most unique new products and services that differentiate your organization from that of your competitors. Now and always. And remember, this is a fluid and ongoing process. Whether it’s Florida Team-building, Nashville team-building, or Denver team-building…it’s all the same. Notes in a chord, and chords and lyrics together…make up the song. Your song. Your Sound. Your story.
So, I’m sitting on a colorful blanket under a palm tree on Hollywood Beach. Having found a little shade in the heat of the day, I am content. Toes in the sand, I have a notebook and pencil with me.
There is sand, breeze, and salt in the air. Heavenly. About an hour into my “allotted” two-hour window, (how much money I’d put in the meter), I noticed the sand around my blanket was moving. Little red ants were going about their business.
At first, I was startled. I love all things outdoors, but some of the DNA in my family tree does not.
However, I’m not them, and they’re not me, right? Trying to be calm about it, I use hands and feet to push piles of sand around me and move the ants (without harming them..mostly) away from the blanket. Surely, they would get the point if I kept digging these moats and building these…well, ant “defense” hills?
Nope. These industrious critters kept on their merry mission. United and focused on the task at hand. They seemed to be working together towards a purpose of higher calling. One that largely involved moving around my blanket, though not on it. Mostly. Some of them did make it onto the blanket as I held still and tried to focus on my book, the ocean, the breeze… is something crawling on my leg? Nope, nothing there, wait….nope nothing. Oh, there’s one. Crap.
I was fascinated by their determination, their collaborative instincts. The way they worked together reminded me of an article I once read about a forest of trees all of whose roots were connected. They communicated with one another in an organic, almost mystical way.
This red army was on their own little scavenger hunt for who knows what…food? Building materials? A Ms. Pac Man machine with a joystick that works well? Not sure what, but they had a mission, and somehow they were energetically connected. Did they ever quarrel? They must sometimes.
I recently saw “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Queen, like all bands, had their fights. But they also did some amazing work through collaboration.
Did you know that infamous foot stomping, drum-banging part at the start of “We Will Rock You” was not Freddie’s invention? Rather, it stemmed from the genius of guitarist Brian May. At the start of a rehearsal that Freddie hadn’t yet arrived at, May got tired of waiting and pitched his idea to the band of somehow involving the audience in part of this new song. Giving them their “own part.” Can you hear it? Stomp, stomp, clap…stomp, stomp, clap!
If you are inspired to do something collaborative with the entire community, join us in our annual city-wide scavenger hunt. We’ll challenge you, have fun, get to know each other, shine a light on some local non-profits, and celebrate all the good that Hollywood has to offer!
Here and everywhere, we are intrinsically interconnected. Amidst the daily grind, it’s easy to forget how nearly every action we take, or decision we make, has a domino effect on the ones around us. A butterfly effect if you will. Keep that in mind every day, every moment. At work and at home.
Think about it. Stay present. Give, collaborate, lift up your neighbor, breathe, rinse, repeat and do it again. Dare to see through the eyes of the other, dare to truly listen, be a great friend, an inspirational teammate, a leader who makes a difference.
United all boats rise.
All together now, get to it.
Find the original article here.
The “modern day” version of a Scavenger Hunt traces it’s origins as part of the modern popular culture back to the 1920s when notorious Jazz Age gossip columnist Elsa Maxwell, held raucous parties, with “scavenger” aspects to the entertainment.
Items being searched for were as wacky, multi-faceted and strange as the hostess herself. The FIRST hunt, was supposedly held at one of Maxwell’s fancy fêtes in 1920s Paris. Even back then in its infancy stages of being a “thing”, the hunt was typically conquered by teams, rather than by individuals. Just the nature of the beast.
Markus Montola, an expert on “old-time” gaming, who wrote the book Pervasive Games: Theory and Design, claims the “hunt games” actually date back to way before Ms. Maxwell roamed the speakeasies, to the highlands and folk culture. However, I haven’t found anything to back this up.
Regardless of when the hunt originated, it holds true that teams of living, breathing inhabitants of this planet use their individual strengths and senses, combined together with those of others…to win.
Often these teams are made up of people who don’t know each other and have never worked together.
These people come from different socio-economic backgrounds, have different politics, sexual orientations, varied ethnicities, and divergent personal stories. But they share a goal. Win the hunt. Teams can change history. True.
Speaking of teams changing the world, last month the lesser-known Co-Founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen passed away. His partner, Bill Gates is quoted as saying “personal computing would not exist without Paul’s contributions.” While Gates is certainly the more well-known of the pair, Allen is generally acknowledged to have been the idea man. Something I didn’t know. They pushed each other to see things through the other’s eyes, and man did they shake things up! Paul often preached what was “possible” to Bill, while Bill would counter with what was “feasible” or “fiscally realistic.” It worked.
Frederick Banting and Charles Best, a pair of scientists from The University of Toronto, are generally credited with creating insulin for diabetics in 1921. Teams have been making history with their findings and creations since….well since the beginning of time!
Closer to home and back here in present day, The Miami Herald this past February, re-launched a long-running, successful hunt called The Herald Hunt.
The Pied Piper for this world-famous hunt is the notorious Dave Barry, and by all accounts, people from all over the country are thrilled this event has returned in all its quirky splendor.
At the end of the day, scavenger hunts are meant to shake up the world a little bit, while fostering teamwork and creative problem-solving. Two of my favorite things!
It’s why I’m so excited about this year’s Hollywood Scavenger Hunt (The Hunt for Good) presented by title sponsor Art and Culture Center/Hollywood. Collaboration baby!
Whether following an online trail of bread-crumbs or gathering wacky fashion items, scavenger hunts can help players appreciate the world around them by forcing them to consider their surroundings in a new light.
When we begin to see the world through the eyes of “the other,” much can come into focus. We begin to look at solutions (more fun than problems) in a multitude of new ways.
And, while we each see things through our own personal lens, scavenger hunts are at their best, when we work together in the “name of the game” to dig up all the wacky and fun items typically assigned as part of “hunt missions.”
Do it with friends from work, from your place of worship, OR by yourself and get paired up with soon to be new friends.
Find the orignal article here.
Attendees of the opening ceremony of the 2018 Hollywood Scavenger Hunt presented by title sponsor Art and Culture Center/Hollywood on December 6 will be treated to an extra special experience facilitated by Emerald Hills resident Jeff Jacob, who has been writing for the Gazette for the last few months about the art of collaboration.
While we cannot share exactly what the experience will be, you might guess that it will be…collaborative. Because that’s what Jacob does.
When he’s not busy at his day job as Assistant Executive Director at B’nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton, Jacob might be found rescuing stray animals, giving his time to various non-profits, or preparing and delivering TEDx talks.
But most likely, he’ll be working with the company he founded in 2012, The Song Team, which offers a unique spin on team building. Using the fundamentals of music to solve problems and foster communication, the Song Team can creatively focus on challenges facing organizations and groups large and small.
“I had been running a large recording studio in Nashville, Dark Horse Recording Studios, a magical place, really,” recalls Jacob, “where lots of famous artists like Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, and Neil Diamond came to record. The owner of Dark Horse had started talking and writing about his experiences with these big stars –why they came to him when they had lots of other choices. It morphed into a unique story of the studio and he began talking and writing about customer service and leadership.”
While running the studio, Jacob was also helping the studio owner market his new business as a motivational speaker, and he got to learn the world of corporate speaking.
There he noticed that people who knew the world of business but were not great speakers, and great speakers who knew nothing about business, could come together, and create great presentations.
“As a musician, it occurred to me that in the history of songwriting, probably 90% of the biggest songs of all time were collaborative pieces,” he continued. “From Broadway to Motown to Tin Pan Alley to modern day country, most songs were written by two or sometimes more people with mutually complementary skill sets. Later on, it was Leiber and Stoller, Lennon and McCartney (and sometimes the others) Jagger and Richards — they got together to complement each other and create the soundtrack of a generation.”
Realizing “the power of the collective,” and that there is always interconnecting in any great idea in business as well as music, Jacob began thinking about how he could combine professional development and songwriting into an interactive experience that would outshine a simple presentation.
And The Song Team was born.
“For my first gig, I did small a small breakout session of about 20 or 30 people at the Univesity of Indiana,” Jacob said. “I had formed a relationship with the client, got my boss a gig as a keynote speaker, and told the client that I did teambuilding by songwriting. I said I was brand new — she didn’t know how brand new, she was the first! — and bartered a discounted rate for having their A/V department do my first video. They brought me back two times! And it grew from there.”
A session with The Song Team includes collaborative songwriting, beginning with a narrative which revolves around the client’s needs. Clients fill out a pre-session questionnaire which focuses on their current situation, goals, and challenges.
Jacob said that he’s particularly successful with company mergers and new product launches.
“We do lots of brainstorming, and always go in with a pre-written hook, to stay on track,” he pointed out. “I never leave anything to chance so nothing important gets left out. “I always know somewhat where I want to steer it but I never tell the participants what to say. Songwriting is just a tool to help people learn that there are many ways to say the same thing.”
Jacob has now become something of an expert on the science of collaboration. You can see it when you read his column here in the Gazette, and you’ll experience it at the kick off for the Hollywood Scavenger Hunt (the Hunt for Good) at the Hollywood Jaycees Hall on December 6th.
While we can’t tell you exactly what the night will entail, it will, as you might expect, involve music, collaboration, and Hollywood.
And, from now until then, he’s looking for input, seeking words and phrases that express what Hollywood means to you. Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Hunt for Good is a collaborative event all around,” noted Jacob. “It allows all the participants to see their city through new eyes and also to see new things about themselves, and discover their own new talents. It’s very much about collaboration and team and open-mindedness, and that’s what The Song Team does too.”
As our meeting concludes, Jacob shares with me the chorus of a song he’s in the middle of writing which says, in a nutshell, that when we help each other out, all boats rise, and everyone’s life gets better.
Maybe we can all collaborate, and help him write the rest of the verses.
For information on The Song Team, contact Jeff@TheSongTeam.com.
Find the orignal article here.
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, The Loco-motion, Don’t Bring Me Down, Take Good Care of my Baby, Some Kind of Wonderful…and on and on. The duo responsible for these hits, Carole King and Gerry Goffin were a pair in every sense of the word. Their partnership produced a generation’s worth of Pop, Motown, and Rock hits. The norm of the day for a songwriting duo was for one person to provide the words and one the music. That’s how the complimentary skill-sets were assembled by the music publishers of the day. This was the formula.
Today that same hit song often comes to life differently.
Sometimes a writer contributing to a hit doesn’t even get credit. In the pop world, often unknown writers land in a situation through a relationship they have, to walk into a writing session, and contribute to a monster hit. That writer will often be paid a flat fee for their part, without being named as a writer on the “record.”
In 2010, a young girl named Alex was sitting in a studio with Adele and her primary co-writer Dan Wilson, from the band Semi-sonic. Alex was a genius with words and a prodigy on Fiddle. She had been close to the late Amy Winehouse but didn’t have much a resume as a songwriter, at least not yet.
That day in the studio she contributed two lines to a little song called “Someone Like You.” You may have heard this song a couple of hundred times. That song won LOTS of gold at the Grammys in 2011. Alexis wasn’t called up on stage.
As leaders at work or in the community, we never know where collaboration is going to come from. But, the end result is nearly always an enhanced, optimized version of it’s prior…earlier self.
Finding fun ways to network and collaborate while “doing good” is definitely trending these days. In the workplace, and in the community. Ample opportunities exist in our communities to have fun, while actually doing “good work.”
And, there are many companies out there, who have corporate social responsibility programs that make real impacts on those who reside in their communities. The very paper you read right now is filled with them, as well as opportunities on every page for every reader to get out there and make a difference.
Putting all of this in a pot, stirring and cooking it into a hearty stew, is the concept behind this year’s Hollywood Scavenger Hunt, which we’re calling “The Hunt for Good.”
The Hollywood Scavenger Hunt weaves together participants looking to have a great time with local businesses and non-profits on a collaborative three-day adventure from December 7-9. In the end, everyone who participates will discover Hollywood’s hidden gems and make new some new friends to boot.
“We met lots of new people and got to experience many new things Hollywood has to offer” said past participant Dana Baker. “We were born and raised here and never realized some of the fun events and shows constantly going on.”
If you go it alone, you WILL make new friends! Rock it as a team, and the memories you will make together will last a lifetime.
Participants are tasked with fun and challenging missions that are still being planned and coordinated. And local non-profits will benefit! How? Because some of the missions are sponsored by local companies who in turn…adopt a local non-profit! And unlike Alexis, all will be acknowledged and appreciated for their contributions.
This year’s kick-off party will be held at the Hollywood Jaycee Hall on Thursday, Dec. 6. Mark your calendar, I can’t tell you why but I can tell you I’ll be there and you won’t want to miss it.
Have fun, do good! Sign up soon, as the clock is ticking. (Pssst…..check out the app Scavify, you’ll need it for the hunt.) All together now, get out there and do it.
Find the orignal article at https://hollywoodscavengerhunt.com/29869-2/.