When you think of the ASTD 2012 conference, team building songs are probably not the first thing that pops into your mind. Yes, there are the more typical sessions on simulation training, multimedia learning environments etc. But dig a little deeper and you’ll notice their are offerings that relate to team building motivation and how they’re related. No, you won’t find this specific class offered, but you’ll find opportunities to experience how storytelling, song creation and personal narrative can increase emotional buy-in from employees and stakeholders. If you’re headed to the conference in Denver next week, check out Disney’s Approach to Storytelling and the session I’m co-facilitating with David Hutchens, Making Meaning: Story, Music, and Co-Creation in Learning. I believe there’s even a session around drumming and we all know that’s a fun, interactive team builder.
So why does content that appears to be soft get a place at the table at ASTD?
Are there team building goals and objectives that can be quantified, or at least specified?
YES! The goal of our presentation in Denver, is to enable participants to experience the value in narrative. Every individual in your organization has a personal story they bring to work with them. The personal story that is each of your employees and co-workers lives contributes to the overall culture and energy of your organization. Further, the role of trainers, coaches and leaders in organizations is to bring all of those diverse stories together into a single narrative that a company lives together.
So what’s the connection between narrative and a team building song?
Great songs tell stories. And team building songs are stories that distill lots of information about our organizations into a succinct message – a great musical elevator speech that communicates the essence of what a company is and what it does. It’s powerful because its a narrative co-created by employees and leaders, and as such, the level of buy-in and engagement is lasting.