How To Announce An Upcoming Meeting Without Inspiring Groans

Posted: Sep 27, 2015 by

Ok, everyone, on the count of three, how much do you love receiving the monthly reminder for the next “All Staff Development Meeting”? One… Two… No, we’ll stop you there. We already know the answer. You’re already groaning at the thought of it. Maybe it is the tone-deaf announcement from a sterilized, watered down company voice. Maybe it is the overly corny, “no one gets the joke except the one person in HR” messaging. Or maybe you are just anticipating more of the same ‘ol same ‘ol. No matter which way you slice it, you are simply not excited about the message you’re receiving. And no one else is either. Invariably, most employees end up on both the sending and… Read more »

Chicago School Team Building

Posted: Sep 25, 2015 by

I honestly believe that every one of our team building events is special in it’s own way. Every client we work with has a unique story and every company song we help create is unique. But once in a while, something comes along that’s extra special. For me that usually revolves around my work with schools. This month I had the opportunity to lead a Chicago school team building program at the Johnson School of Excellence. This school was one of the lowest performing schools in Chicago until a few years ago. But now, as part of the Academy for Urban School Leadership and thanks to a passionate, dedicated teaching staff, this school is becoming a vibrant part of the… Read more »

5 Ways To Amplify An Introvert’s Voice

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It can be easy to forget an introvert in the room. Those that don’t raise their hands, jump up in protest or appreciation, or carry the charge into the fray. However, physical silence does not correlate to complete silence–the fact is most of your introverts have just as much to say as your extroverts. The great challenge, however, is to find ways to bring your introvert voices into the conversation without force or making them feel uncomfortable. 1 – Break Large Groups Into Focus Groups Are your meetings often on the large side? Even with groups of just 10 or more, introverts can start to fade into the background. Make a point to break up your meetings into focus sessions–and… Read more »

How To Fold A Fitted Sheet

Posted: Sep 9, 2015 by

Last week, I surprised a group of several hundred people by taking the stage, not with my piano, but with an unfolded fitted sheet. I don’t know how to fold a fitted sheet and that’s a problem. So I asked this group of highly skilled sales executives if anyone knew how to fold a fitted sheet. I was was met with silence. Finally, I noticed someone in the back of the room, half raising her hand. I coaxed her into coming on stage and she then showed us all how it’s done. Thunderous applause and I thought to myself, ‘yikes, how am I going to follow that?’ Can you find the person on your team who knows how to fold… Read more »

When Team Building Works

Posted: Aug 31, 2015 by

Aargh…what’s in a name? Team Building, that tarnished term – that much maligned activity. When it doesn’t work, it’s hard, it’s boring, it’s embarrassing. But, when team building works it’s really fun. It’s worth doing and it can really help pull your team together. If you’re reading this, you most likely need to find a team building activity that is enjoyable in a genuine way. That’s not easy. But like all great things in life, when team building works, the effort you put into finding it pays off. I’m not much on team building in general. I used to be the kid hiding out during annual family picnics, trying to avoid group interaction. And like a lot of professional performers,… Read more »

Chicago Team Building With Music

Posted: Aug 5, 2015 by

We’ve had lots of fun lately with our Chicago team building with music clients. Since establishing our Chicago team building through song office a couple of years ago, we’ve seen our events in Chicago grow exponentially. There are fantastic venues that inspire a great experience, from Buddy Guy’s Blues Club to the Chicago Recording Company. These great Windy City spots enable us to create really special Chicago team building with music events. Here’s an overview of one program. Chicago Team Building Client Goals A meaningful experience that will bring everyone together, out of the office! Re-motivate the team to focus on their successes and continue with challenges ahead Highlight and better understand this team’s identity and mission. How We Do… Read more »

Team Building Activities For Large Teams

Posted: Aug 3, 2015 by

Finding effective team building activities for large teams is tricky. No matter what you do, you won’t have the same level of individual engagement with a group of 500 versus a group of five…but you knew that! This doesn’t mean you can’t find great programs for your large group. But you should have realistic goals to find a good match. When clients reach out to me asking about team building activities for large teams, they’re most often looking for a less boring keynote session or a conference icebreaker. I’ve developed a program that goes way beyond less boring. Here at Kidbilly Music, we’ve found a way to deliver interactive, fast paced large group sessions that are not only fun, they’re… Read more »

Innovation Management

Posted: Jul 24, 2015 by

The practice of creativity and innovation management should be closely linked. But too often they’re not. Too often, organizations create innovation management teams but they don’t empower them with the culture, freedom or confidence to engage in creative play, to experiment and fail. I recently spoke with a client who said his team was hampered by the proof they had to submit, before even engaging in new product ideation. As a life long hit songwriter and pianist I’m always aware that for every success I have, there will be many more ideas discarded. Companies need to keep that in mind too! Create a Culture for Innovation Management Failure – Failure is a great thing. It means your team is trying… Read more »

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Posted: Jun 22, 2015 by

Why should you step out of your comfort zone? After all, there’s nothing wrong with being comfortable. But usually, to innovate, to change or to grow you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone. Even for creative types like me, it’s not always easy to try something new. It involves risk and triggers fear of failure. Innovative companies know that part of innovating is experimentation. In order to be a truly innovative organization you should have a company culture that supports experimentation, play, open discussion and using trial and error, without judging the error to harshly. When I work with clients to help them harness their creative abilities, I share a concept I call ROInspiration®. It’s a way of… Read more »

2015 Nashville Team Building Programs

Posted: May 27, 2015 by

As May draws to a close, we’ve just about recovered from some recent and fun 2015 Nashville team building programs. Nashville remains a hot destination for conferences and we’re glad to be able to bring our music team building to visiting groups. We usually help companies or associations create songs about the work they do, but a couple of weeks ago, we worked with a tour group of RV owners…a bit different for us. We took advantage of an opportunity unique to Nashville team building programs – we held the event at the famed Oceanway recording studio. As you might imagine, each of the four teams we worked with came up with colorful lyrics about life on the road and… Read more »