Team building songs have a lot in common with the hit songs I’ve written. While they may not end up on the radio, the songs we create in our team building events communicate personal story and emotion, just like any great song. Story and emotion stick, so team building for values is a great way to get your value statement off the page and into your day-to-day operational experience. Simply put, you’ll share experience, you’ll trade stories, you’ll take lots of information and distill it down to the important stuff – a powerful value statement through song.
Story, Song & Values – How It’s Done
Okay – I’m on a flight from Boston to Portland, having just worked with a major investment bank. Our specific goal was to reinforce the company value statement by creating a team building song. Too often a statement of values is just that; a statement – A two dimensional reference that’s hard to integrate into daily corporate experience. And if leaders aren’t living the values, then their employees won’t be either.
I started the session with a question. ‘Can you share a personal story about how you lived a company value, something specific you’ve done that reflects on this?’ The group was silent, big pause and some tension in the room as participants realized nothing immediately came to mind, yikes… but not uncommon! So I read some of the value statement as a prompt and then someone in the room told a story about how he had ‘acted globally’. Soon other people were sharing experience and building on shared ideas as our song chorus came to life.The song doesn’t re-state values in a dry or literal way, but it creates a story of how the important aspects of an organization’s mission and culture are lived.
Remember That Song
It’s true; you can remember the lyrics to hundreds of songs. We all can. But you probably can’t remember where you put your car keys…By the time this group of investment bankers created, sang and recorded their team building song they owned it, they had memorized it and they were excited about it.That was yesterday. And today they’re back at the office singing the value song company-wide.
Here’s an excerpt from the song -
“Bold leaders here to navigate, innovate, motivate
Coaching teams to do their best, that’s our secret to success
We focus on investor’s needs, with our advanced technology
Community philanthropy, we celebrate diversity”
And now I’m gonna take a nap on this plane. Left Boston early this morning with a song in my head, and landing in Portland, OR later today to create more music.