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.
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.
This article recently ran in my hometown paper, The Washington Post.
By Adam Kilgore, Published: December 25 E-mail the writer
BALTIMORE — The New England Patriots operated for years like an unholy, inexorable assembly line. They cruised along and cranked out victories, records and the occasional Super Bowl appearance. They made dominance in a capricious league seem easy and smooth; the coach dressed for comfort and the quarterback married a supermodel. Then this fall happened.
The Patriots are currently held together by ACE bandages, miracle comebacks, baling wire and whatever magic dust Tim Tebow — remember that? — forgot in his locker back in training camp. The defense lost almost a half-ton of defensive tackles to the injured reserve list. Tom Brady’s three best targets from the end of last season are injured (Rob Gronkowski), incarcerated (Aaron Hernandez) and in Denver (Wes Welker). His best remaining receivers would probably be underestimated if they split out wide during a particularly competitive intramural flag football league.
The gears grinded, screws came loose and parts went flying off, and still the machine lurched forward. The upheaval has tested, and ultimately reaffirmed, the wicked football genius of Bill Belichick. The Patriots have clinched their fifth straight AFC East championship, their 11th in 13 years. With a win at home Sunday over the 6-9 Buffalo Bills, they will seize a first-round bye for the fourth straight season.
“Every year is special,” Brady said. “But we really earned it this year.”
Even if he hoisted three Lombardi Trophies, even if he went 16-0 in 2007, this season may stand as Belichick’s finest work. Consider what the Patriots have handled on the way to another 11- or 12-win season. Sunday, humans named Michael Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan played tight end for an offense originally built around Hernandez and Gronkowski. Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, Sebastian Vollmer and Tommy Kelly are out for the year. Make a list of New England’s 10 most indispensable players, and probably half are on injured reserve.
“I think everybody on the team has the same attitude,” Belichick said. “They’ve got to be prepared. They’ve got to be ready to go. You never know when those situations are going to come. You’ve got to be ready for those things. Every team has guys on injured reserve. Every team has players get hurt. That’s the league we’re in. It’s a war of attrition.”
But the Patriots have both faced more attrition and overcome it better than most. Belichick finds players other teams don’t want and makes them useful. Sunday, with left tackle Nate Solder out with a concussion, the Patriots moved all-pro guard Logan Mankins to tackle and inserted undrafted rookie Jeff Kline at guard. In a 41-7 victory, the Patriots ran over the defending Super Bowl champions.
“It always starts with the head guy,” Mankins said. “He doesn’t care who’s out on the field. He expects you to do your job to the best of your ability. If you don’t, he’ll find someone else. He did a good job of finding guys that are willing to do whatever they’re asked of in their role.”
In late October, the Patriots added a defensive tackle named Sealver Siliga to their practice squad. He went undrafted in 2011 — as a junior at Utah, he made the all-Mountain West team only as honorable mention. He bounced between the practice squads of the 49ers, Broncos and Seahawks, appearing in only one game.
Sunday, he started at defensive tackle as one of Wilfork’s replacements. Along with a sack, he was part of stopping Ray Rice on a fourth and one that all but sealed the victory.
“Bill is a great leader of men,” linebacker Rob Ninkovich said. “He gets us all in the right place, all in the right schemes, everything that benefits us as individual players.”
The Patriots changed their offense on the fly, relying on two sawed-off wide receivers. Julian Edelman, 5 feet 10, played quarterback at Kent State in college and was picked 232nd overall in 2009. As a free agent this summer, he agreed to return to New England on a one-year contract with a base salary of less than $1 million. He has caught 96 passes for 991 yards. Brady calls him “Minitron.”
Danny Amendola, the Patriots’ 5-11 replacement for Welker, has bounced in and out of the lineup with injuries but is still second on the team in catches and receiving yards.
“What can you say? We have great leadership in Coach Belichick,” special teams ace Matthew Slater said. “He’s been able to prepare us and keep us focused. Tom, obviously, has shown great leadership and poise throughout the adversity we’ve faced this season.”
Running back Shane Vereen suffered a broken wrist and missed Weeks 2 through 9. The Patriots could have subsisted with Stevan Ridley, a bruiser who scored 12 touchdowns last year, but he fumbled his way onto the bench and, for one week, the inactive list. Their top running back Sunday was LeGarrette Blount, whom they acquired last year for little-used wideout Jeff Demps and a seventh-round pick.
“Whatever happens,” Blount said, “we’re going to adapt to it.”
In the Patriots’ locker room Sunday, a reporter wanted to know if Blount considered himself the team’s No. 1 back. As Blount demurred, Vereen crouched behind him and grumbled.
“Asking about our [expletive] role,” Vereen said. “That’s not how this group operates.”
The Patriots’ gaudy record could be viewed with skepticism. They have won just four games by more than a touchdown and have outgained opponents by just 13 yards per game. Without three unlikely comebacks, they would be scrounging for a playoff spot. The close calls may portend another early playoff exit — the Patriots have three postseason wins in the past five years. Then again, during their 41-7 throttling of Baltimore’s champions, they again played like a powerhouse.
“You know what, coming in, on the bus ride in here, I felt great,” Ninkovich said afterward. “I knew that we were going to beat these guys. Some hand gestures coming from the fans, it’s always a good motivating thing. Again, I was confident. I knew that we worked hard. We had put in the work, and that’s what it’s all about.”
On the Friday before the Patriots pasted the Ravens, Belichick took his team to the movies. They watched “Lone Survivor,” the Mark Wahlberg movie about a Navy SEAL mission in Afghanistan.
“I didn’t feel like they needed anything — just changed up the routine a little bit,” Belichick said. “I think the movie certainly had the messages of leadership, perseverance, preparation, and then execution. It’s one thing to prepare; it’s another to actually go out there and play the game and go through the battle that they did. So, that was a great message, no question. And a great movie.”
Sometimes, even through his dull monotone, Belichick can make the blandest NFL clichés seem vividly real. He still has Brady behind center, and he doesn’t care about who is on injured reserve. He cares only that the machine rolls on.
Team & Technology. There is NOT and will NEVER be an “app” for that. Meaning – That Technology in all it’s grandeur, will never take the place of dedicated, inspired, talented, unique team-members. How do you assemble YOUR team?
Recently, our team participated in a songwriting/team-building program with a Fortune 500, Financial Services Company. We were very excited to be working with a new group of driven, talented individuals.On this day, we were part of a full-days “technical” training. We were the “Grand Finale”-Non-industry related part of the program. We were there to shake things up, and help shift the thought processes of those in the room from their normal, linear thinking norms.
We were challenged to work in a room, where the layout was, well let’s say not ideal so as to encourage collaboration. A primary goal with our programs! Set up class-room style with long, thin rectangular tables. All attendees were facing forward. Nearly all had laptops in front of them, rather than the round tables we typically prefer. So, what did we do?
Well, we “re-arranged the chairs on the Titantic!” We shut down the lap-tops. We asked those in attendance to move the tables around. Rather than row upon row of faces turned towards “us” at the “front” of the room, we NOW had 4 “pods” or “Squares” of attendees facing each other. Eye contact. Everyone was now able to see lips moving when a colleague was speaking…contributing to the conversation.
NOW, we were set to work together in individual teams, and as a collective whole. And everyone chipped in. Beautiful.
So, what can you do within the “walls” and WITH the walls of your organization to better promote innovation through collaboration?
- Are there actual physical barriers which you as leadership can consider “bringing down?”
- Are there systemic barriers, or parameters that might be easier to change than you think?
- Conversely, are there systemic barriers or policies, which despite how difficult change may appear to be…STILL need to change?
- What can you do right now? Within 3 months…6 months…12 months to better assure that all voices at the table have a say in creating and/or finding solutions?
Let’s think about it….Then, let’s do something about it.