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We’ve all been there, we’ve attended traditional conferences with traditional speakers who, you guessed it, give their presentations from a traditional PowerPoint. And all of this is fine! But it’s just that.

As companies we want our presentations to be life-changing and extraordinary and for the teams to take away tools to be more productive.

In this podcast, I chat with Angela Proffitt all about interactive team building, unity and engagement through use of rhythm and the value of offering an experience for your team.

People don’t always remember what you say but they will always remember how you make them feel.


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How exactly does a group event work when participants are separated by distance?

Drumming the Distance is not new to us – here’s how we did it in six remote sites simultaneously.

The Federal Reserve approached us because they wanted to do an all-hands meeting and that had 200 participants in the Atlanta Federal Reserve Office plus five other smaller offices in a variety of other places including Florida & North Carolina.

We began by coordinating drums to be sent to all locations and arranging AV connections between the six locations. A person in each location was in charge of the video conferencing equipment and was there to make sure that the AV ran smoothly, and the sound worked and the visuals worked.

We took all the 200 people who were in the Federal Reserve Building and we put them in the canteen. We had set up the canteen with a drum on every chair.

At the back of the room was a large video screen and on that video screen, there were five different blocks. Each block represented one of the other offices.

We started the event in Atlanta and all the other locations started at exactly the same time, so we had a rhythmic connected, real-time opening.

Each one of them heard me perfectly clearly, heard my team, and the music coming from the Atlanta office perfectly clearly.

I engaged with each one of those five offices by going into the audience and speaking directly to them via the screen because they could all see me and I could see them.

I would integrate each group with a drum roll welcome for each office, bringing them into the engagement so that they felt completely part of the engagement, as did those people who were sitting in Atlanta.


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Corporate social responsibility has been defined in numerous ways. Typically when people are searching for corporate responsibility programs they bump into words such as “Sustainability”; “Customer Relationship Management”; “Corporate Governance” and “Ethics”, to name a few.

Forbes has defined it as a type of international private business self-regulation that aims to contribute to societal goals of a philanthropic, activist, or charitable nature or by engage in or support volunteering or ethically-oriented practices.

Susan McPherson has said that a company’s approach to impact is a reflection of that company’s values — and the values of its customers, employees and (increasingly) investors. It’s a shift that has been accelerated by the current political climate, in which companies have had to publicly stand up — both individually and collaboratively — for values like inclusion, empathy and environmental preservation in the face of questionable policy decisions. The result? Responsibility, humanity and impact are now more entrenched than ever in the corporate sector — and I am confident that this is not a passing trend.

At Drum Café North America, soon to be re-branded “THE RHYTHM AGENDA”, we have created a program that helps companies GIVE BACK to communities in need of the ability to “Humanize through Harmony”. The Rhythm Agenda will be offering a range of such programs that fit directly with the companies core values.

Our First – Team-Can-Jam-Cajon, recently contracted in by the IT division at Dropbox was a HUGE success. See for yourselves.

Bring us into one of your company divisions and BE a PART of the SOLUTION.

Let’s humanize through harmony.


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“Diversity” and “inclusion” are two of the top buzzwords in many organizations as part of an initiative to broaden horizons and create a more supportive and positive corporate culture and environment. 

“Diversity and Inclusion” means so much more than having multiple ethnicities, nationalities, and languages present within an organization – while representing the different tribes of the world certainly is one aspect of diversity, the key element to the inclusion part of the equation is recognizing the benefits of having unique perspectives and input to pull from. The organization that acknowledges having differing opinions, voices, and styles as an asset will be more effective at vetting ideas and strategies than a company too fearful to deviate from the norm. Transform your organization and make your team more effective with these simple steps: 

  1. Re-define diversity. In today’s rapidly changing and interconnected world, it’s important to realize that the concept of diversity in the workplace extends beyond the traditional sense of gender, socio-economic background, race, and age–having a smorgasbord of ideas, skill sets, languages, ideas, and styles is very important to an organization. Not every person’s wheelhouse should or needs to be the same; in fact, it’s better if there are a variety of different strengths, adaptable to the endless possibilities of situations and challenges that may arise at any given moment. 
  2. Be self-aware. Think honestly of what is informing any negative preconceptions or assumptions of others–more likely than not it is individual fear and vulnerability. The first step to embracing diversity and becoming a more inclusive and supportive organization is for each member to overcome those fears by recognizing their importance within the team, and then making the conscious choice to be open rather afraid of newness and difference. 
  3. Champion change. Change and flux within an organization are often perceived as negative, when they should be viewed as agents of positive transformation—an opportunity for personal and collective growth. Innovation does not thrive in environments that support sameness and groupthink. Innovation is born from a respectful exchange of ideas among individuals whose contributions are informed by their unique experiences and backgrounds. 

The final and most important characteristic of being a diverse and inclusive team is celebrating and showing appreciation and respect for the differences that make your group unique. This is the ingredient that will elevate your organization to the next level and allow you to truly work together without walls. The Drum Cafe North America team often references the word UBUNTU, meaning, “I am because you are,” and it perfectly embodies this concept. UBUNTU honors the beauty of difference and shows gratitude for others’ contributions and the part they play in shaping our own experience. 

If you are ready to break down the barriers that may be hindering your team, incorporate UBUNTU into your company philosophy and champion the change you wish to see in your organization. Fast forward to February 2020 where we will be celebrating Black History Month—it’s the perfect time to kick things off with one of Drum Cafe North America’s custom Diversity and Inclusion programs. 


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The power of drumming to reinforce a message is rooted in the non-verbal, experiential, immersive journey taken by each drumming participant. The barriers of language and culture are by-passed and the ancient physical human form is embraced, awakening the senses so often dulled by modern workstation life. At our team building events, just passing out the percussion instruments sparks a sense of wonder and play. But then, of course, the real learning begins.

Here are Drum Cafe North America’s 3 Benefits of Drumming as a Team Building Solution:

  • Fosters a sense of community and belonging 

In this way, we use drumming and rhythm as a means to create bonds between us, to build trust incrementally and to demonstrate kinesthetically, that every member of every team or division has a unique contribution to make in achieving overall success. All our corporate and educational programming is designed to spark unity and engagement – to enhance and harness the POWER of ONE team.

  • Increases & encourages awareness/ active listening

Each participant is given their own distinct rhythm – their own voice. Performed separately at first, each group declares themselves, distinguishing the tone and groove of their sound.  The sounds are all so different and the challenge is to create both sonic and rhythmic harmony.  

Ears are fully engaged. Deep listening is required to enter the exchange of balanced play that creates true complementary integration. The room vibrates within minutes.  Anyone who doubted that they could fully participate in a complex system of collaboration was persuaded otherwise. Making music together encourages us to be sensitive and intuitive of all “voices” around us.

  • Decreases stress 

Many of our clients bring our programs in because they recognize that stress is a shared burden.  They understand that stress reduces our ability to work effectively with other people and thus affects productivity. But even beyond impacting productivity, stress breeds imbalance. And when there’s an imbalance, progress is severely compromised.

Drum Café North America’s programs might just last an hour or two each time we visit, but what’s remarkable about drumming is its uncanny ability to stay with us long after we play. Again, it goes back to our bodies as resonators, deeply connecting to the drum itself and to the sound of many people drumming together. 

For more information on the team building programs we offer, contact us here!


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With the holiday season in full swing, we know how many moving parts exist behind the corporate scene. To many people, the holiday season brings profound joy and happiness, while others perceive it as a highly stressful and somewhat lonely couple of weeks. 

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Whether you’re in the office or sitting at home, we know this time of year is filled with deadlines, Q4 targets, holiday parties, decorations, shopping trips, and a huge increase in distracted and unmotivated team members. 

One of the most important action items during the holiday season is giving back to your people and celebrating a year well done. Most companies will throw the typical annual holiday party where they splurge on the best food, unlimited alcohol, jaw-dropping decor and of course, an incredible venue to showcase how much they value their people.

Other companies will show their gratitude through a small gift, maybe tickets to a game or perhaps, a card from the boss with some nice chocolates.

Either way, what you’re paying for isn’t a night to remember, it’s purely something to be talked about for weeks to come.

Why not gift your top-performing teams an experience? Rather than giving a traditional office gift this year, consider offering an experience with food, drinks and laughter combined with music, rhythm and drumming.

Your team will receive a thrilling event, and they will walk away with lifelong skills. It’s the opportunity to participate in something so much more meaningful this holiday season. Gift an experience of a lifetime rather than simply giving an item.

What’s more valuable to you, a night of drinking or a day full of memorable activities where you get to create memories and build stronger bonds with the people you see nearly every day?

 Ignite the holiday spirit with Drum Cafe North America. Contact us to explore options that are highly-customizable and the right fit for you.


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Asking a question is one of the simplest ways of learning. We ask questions to gain powerful insights, to problem solve, to deepen connections and understanding of one another and to discover or bring light to new things. We all learn, at a relatively young age, the importance of asking questions, but we don’t always learn how to ask them effectively.

Drum Cafe North America November Blog post - The Art of Effective Questioning

Asking the “right” question is truly an art and as a company that facilitates engaging and purposeful corporate messaging, asking our clients and their teams the right questions correlates to the effectiveness of our events. Think about what questions you ask in an interview, to a partner or a friend, and to your team. Are they purposeful? Do they force a specific answer? 

Here are Drum Cafe North America’s tips on how to ask the right questions in the right way:

  1. Find a balance between being friendly and being direct.

    Think about what you want from that person’s answer. Most of us want an honest and meaningful response, so don’t phrase the question in a way that will cause defensiveness or force the answer you’re looking for.

  2. Avoid Yes/No Questions.

    Don’t ask questions you already know the answer to. If you can Google it, refrain from asking it.

  3. After asking the question, be an active listener.

    Nothing is worse than having the person asking the question following up with their own answer. Effective questioning is there to spark conversation, not to sway opinions. Gain insights and produce more effective teams.

  4. One of the most important pieces of effective questioning is asking a follow-up question.

    This is where you showcase your active listening skills. Make sure you understand their answer and ask a follow-up question to spark deeper conversation on that same topic.

  5. Be Clear

    Refrain from merging several questions together. Take the extra few minutes to ask clear and concise questions and this will lead to even clearer and more tailored responses.

At Drum Cafe North America we can work with your company and develop a program that will work with your team in specifically exploring and building effective questioning skills. In our programming not only do we offer strategies to improve productivity, but we also work on developing critical reasoning skills and effective questioning in order to arrive at the ultimate results your team is looking to achieve. Contact us to learn more about our programs and how we can assist you.

 

 


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How to Approach your Next Sales Kick-Off Meeting the DCNA WayThink back to your last “all-hands” meeting or even, last quarter’s sales meeting. Was it impactful? Did it resonate with your attendees? Did you see a boost in morale? 

We know and you know that these meetings can always be better. Take a minute to think about what was missing and what could be improved. Maybe it’s keeping better track of time or simply getting better catering. Sure, these things might add some value to the event, but how impactful and long-lasting will those investments be for your attendees and the overall outcomes for your event?

Here at Drum Cafe North America, we think BIG. We bring psychology, music, and science together to build out all of our iconic and invigorating programming. Attendees will soak in all of the messaging to stay well-aligned with company objectives and will come out more engaged, motivated and driven as ever to hit targets and strive for success.

Here are our 4 tips to having a killer Sales Kick-Off meeting!

  1. Keep the agenda focused and timely. Nothing is worse than having an unproductive meeting that starts late and runs over. Stay on track and keep it moving. You only get a few all-hands meetings per year, make sure it’s one to remember by keeping it productive and engaging.
  2. Open and close the event with a BANG! We stand by this. With more and more remote employees and ever growing teams, it’s hard to feel connected, build strong bonds amongst peers, and to keep everyone aligned and engaged. Make it easy for your people at these events- make sure they feel welcomed, acknowledged and pumped going into the event and leaving it. You’ll see the results in their work.
  3. Always have a guest speaker. Guest and keynote speakers are some of the most memorable additions to any event. Take the time to research and invest in someone that will deliver positive and motivational messaging while staying aligned with the overall event theme. Remember, this person is selected to speak to your teams, always keep your people top of mind throughout the booking process.
  4. Remember, this event is for your people. For every part of the agenda, you should be thinking about how it’s relevant to the audience and what takeaways you want the audience to gain from the messaging, activity or speaker. Planning an effective and memorable event takes a lot more than a catering list and a powerpoint.

Keep your employees off their phones and drive results with one of Drum Cafe North America’s fully engaging and highly impactful interactive rhythmic programs. Contact us to explore options that are fully-customizable and the right fit for you.


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INDUSTRY Life Sciences/Healthcare COMPANY Illumina – the global leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function. In essence, Illumina is the standard for genomics companies! Drum Cafe North America client Illumina THE CHALLENGE Illumina’s global marketing team is a critical component in influencing customers around the world, driving market growth, and transforming the way the world understands and uses genomic information. For its three-day 2019 Global Marketing Meeting, Illumina’s executive team wanted to unite and align their marketing and corporate communications divisions. Total attendance – 400 Illumina employees from multiple divisions around the world. In addition, Illumina wanted to provide training to further the company’s success, celebrate 2019 accomplishments, and drive inspiration for 2020. Illumina needed a powerful kickoff event to readily connect and engage its meeting attendees and set the right tone for the entire conference.  OUR PROGRAM & SOLUTION Drum Cafe North America created an uber custom Kinesthetic Keynote; a meaningful, energetic and highly interactive 60-minute drumming program to unite and inspire Illumina’s global marketing team. Throughout the program, Illumina’s marketing vision, corporate messaging, and compelling achievements were woven in to the rhythmic program to enhance the experience, connect global marketing teams, and define meaning and relevance for all attendees. Our rhythmic program electrified and empowered the audience and facilitated Illumina’s global marketing team’s sense of community and alignment of its corporate messaging. Coming together to celebrate their achievements and synchronizing everyone’s energy truly granted the perfect space to celebrate, reflect and recognize each other’s contributions and move forward as ONE community.
  “[Drum Cafe North America’s program was] energizing, inspiring and on the mark for our meeting opener for our global event.” -Client Feedback