How To Be More Creative

Let’s demystify what may seem like a difficult challenge, how to be more creative. First demystification; creativity is not a thing, as in person, place or thing (noun). If my mom’s reading this, and she usually does read my blog posts, then I’m already in trouble. Because technically, ‘creativity’ is a noun. But if you think of being creative as a given thing that you either possess or lack, then you’ll doom yourself to creative failure. We’re all inherently creative and we all have the ability to get better at using our creative powers. Don’t tell yourself you’re just not creative. That would be a lie and it’s not fun to lie to yourself. Read on and get some tips…Continue Reading

Scary Team Building

It’s Halloween so I thought I’d talk about the monster that is scary team building. It’s real and it’s out there all year, not just on Halloween. I love this article with 10 horrifying team building experiences. These scary team building ideas make me laugh, mostly because I can’t believe someone actually planned them for their team. You wouldn’t be laughing if you had to partake in team building like this, but these cautionary tales are entertaining. I often hear from prospective clients that the don’t like team building, and they’re skeptical that the experience can be either fun or valuable. I guess this guy below was in charge of their previous team building programs. Scary, intimidating, uncomfortable; It doesn’t…Continue Reading

How To Be Successful In The Music Industry

If you’ve found this post you’re probably wondering how to be successful in the music industry. I hope you’re not looking for a magic formula; there isn’t one. Oddly enough, or not so oddly, tips for success in music are very similar to tips for success at anything. So it seems right to start with common sense tips that apply universally. And then I’ll share some of what I’ve gleaned after a few decades of success as a pianist and hit songwriter. Okay; this joke is so old I shouldn’t share it. But it’s so right that it needs to live on so here it is, just in case you haven’t already seen this one. A tourist stopped a passerby…Continue Reading

5 Tips On How To Build Teamwork

Do you know how to build teamwork? Have you worked on building teamwork with varying degrees of success? The answer to both of those questions is probably yes. Most of us have experience building teamwork and have met with both success and failure. I believe the quest to discover how to build teamwork should be viewed as ongoing and constantly evolving. That being said, there are some great foundational tips you can use to create a high functioning team. A work team should be put together strategically; like a sports team in that each individual should have a role that compliments and does not duplicate the other team members. Every team needs a mission in order to excel, to foster…Continue Reading

Music Team Building In Chicago

Every once in a while something happens that’s every bit as good as we imagine it will be. Our music team building Chicago event at Buddy Guy’s Legends in early October was that every once in a while event. Our client, LabAnswer, wanted to make music, they wanted to sing the blues and they wanted it authentic, down and dirty. Their list of wants was a musical challenge I couldn’t refuse. Our team of hit songwriters knows something about the blues, especially hit songwriter Tony Haselden who has a Grammy nomination for traditional blues album. And with an eye to using Chicago talent, I turned to John Paris to put together a stellar rhythm section to anchor our program. Music…Continue Reading

Successful Team Building Strategies

Just when I begin to think I’m an expert at successful team building strategies, I’ll facilitate a program that reminds me how much I still have to learn. When that happens I’m reminded that I learn more from my failures than from my successes. Failure creates wonderful opportunity to reflect, to strategize and to envision a better future. Conflict, much like failure, can be embraced as a call to action; as an imperative to move forward and evolve as a team. I recently facilitated a team building program in which my usually successful team building strategies fell short. This particular group had enough creative conflict to fill more than our allotted session time and I wasn’t prepared for that. While that…Continue Reading

Chicago Corporate Events

I’ve been in Chicago about a year and I continue to be so impressed by the depth and breadth of great venues at which to hold Chicago Corporate Events. Mixing, mingling and learning at the zoo, the planetarium, the fantastic public library and out-of-the-box creative event spaces sets the stage for successful meetings. I’ve evolved from a …can’t drag me out of the house… attitude to a …woah, what’s this one gonna be like?… enthusiasm. Here’s a list of reasons why I’m loving the many great choices for Chicago corporate events. Creative, Conducive, Collaborative Three great words that describe the way you’ll feel when you plan an event at Catalyst Ranch. I attended a conference here several years ago and…Continue Reading

What Is Team Building

What is team building? And why does that question generate so much discussion and disagreement? Does team building have to be formal and sequential to qualify? Are you team building if you simply spend time away from the office with your team, be it on the golf course or at a restaurant? Lots of questions here, and I don’t believe there’s a narrow or static answer for any of them. It’s worth taking time to understand the different facets of what is team building. Then you can align your organization’s goals with a kind of team building that will work for you. This Thing Called Team Building In a strict sense, team building happens over time and goes through different…Continue Reading

How To Improve Communication Skills

Helping groups understand how to improve communication skills is an integral part of the work we do at Kidbilly Music. Everyone’s personal style of communicating is different and reflects who they are. But even when there are many different styles within a company or a team, there’s always opportunity to create a culture for better communication to improve quality of work-life, trust and efficiency. Efficiency isn’t a fun sounding word, but as a life long creative given to easily digressing off topic, I can tell you that efficiency in communication can be a real time saver and help you stay focused. It’s as important as quality of life and trust within your working group. My Top 3 Tips Good communicators…Continue Reading

How To Be A Better Public Speaker

Believe me I know how it feels to perform badly at public speaking. I had to work and learn how to be a better public speaker. For me, it didn’t come naturally at all. I’m a lifelong pianist, songwriter and performer, but honestly live performance was always so hard for me. I’m more naturally comfortable in the recording studio or at home crafting a song for someone else to sing. Having learned the hard way, and the long way, I believe I’m in a position to share effective tips on how to become a better public speaker. 5 Tips on How To Be a Better Public Speaker Find a hook – As a songwriter, I’m always looking for a great…Continue Reading