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

How To Write A Hit Song

John Cashman and his team at Digital Firefly Marketing asked me to provide a story line for an infographic and I’m so glad they did. It forced me to distill the essence of the songwriting process into something simple, including steps you can follow to write your own song. Check this infographic, How To Write A Hit Song, for what I hope will inspire you to at begin or continue your songwriting journey. And below are steps you can take to do some real work, have some real fun, and hopefully create a song you’ll be proud of. How To Write A Hit Song First of all, no one really knows what a hit song is, until it becomes a… Continue Reading

Corporate Team Building In Chicago

It’s early July and I have a light jacket on, sitting on the back porch of our new home in Chicago. As I sip a glass of wine in the company of my wife Julie and our dog Lucy, I’m thinking to myself, ‘There’s so much corporate team building in Chicago…’ That may seem strange to you, but here’s some context; the opportunities in Chicago are part of the reason I’m enjoying this cool July evening. After a fun run as a hit songwriter based in the warmer climes of Nashville, I morphed into this current adventure we call Team Building Through Song®. And as this dynamic corporate team building program grew exponentially, I set my sights north as an… Continue Reading

Large Group Team Building That Works

I got the kind of phone call this morning that I love. A client referred someone to us, saying that our large group team building program actually worked, as if that should be a shock…But I understand why people are surprised. It’s hard to find large group team building activities that engage everyone in a fun and inclusive way. There are two basic choices on how to approach your team building challenge; keep your large group together or break into smaller teams. Both choices are fun and effective. Agenda time and budget may dictate which route you go. Large Group Team Building Challenges Stay Together… There are interactive keynote sessions that function as team builders. We get large groups out… Continue Reading

Interactive Keynote with Billy Kirsch & Darden Smith

What if you just showed up… Award winning songwriters, performers and interactive keynote speakers, Billy Kirsch and Darden Smith have spent their entire careers showing up; sometimes with success, sometimes with failure, but never with indifference! In this highly engaging and productive musical presentation Darden and Billy share the path to their successes and the wisdom gained from failure. Through music, story, and humor, you’ll learn how to be your authentic self more fully and to bring yourself to work with positive results.           Engagement, or the lack of it, is a hot topic in the corporate world. Organizations are increasingly aware of the importance of having an engaged workforce – A workforce made up of… Continue Reading