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INDUSTRY

Education

INSTITUTION

ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business’ Success StoryArizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business offers exceptional undergraduate and graduate programs, develops thousands of problem-solving students each year, and features a world-renowned faculty.

THE CHALLENGE

ASU’s Camp Carey is an essential component of the first-year MBA student orientation program. Second-year MBA students and W.P. Carey faculty and staff alike volunteer their time at the camp to ensure its overall success and help incoming students feel a part of the ASU community.

ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business’ Success StoryFor its three-day 2019 Camp Carey event, ASU’s MBA faculty team and second-year MBA students volunteered their time to peer-to-peer mentorship and coaching for the first-year MBA students. The purpose of this event was to deepen and build trust amongst the new cohort and their second-year peers. Total participants would include 100 students and faculty from around the world. In addition, the MBA faculty wanted to celebrate the first-year students’ admission into the program (a major accomplishment on its own) and allow the new cohort to step into courage, start building strong networks with other students, and make W.P. Carey their home away from home for the new semester.

The W.P. Carey School of Business required a powerful and engaging kickoff event to readily connect and engage its students and faculty at its Camp Carey orientation and offer the right exercises and training to help new students build a foundation for success in the MBA program.

OUR PROGRAM & SOLUTION

ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business’ Success StoryDrum Cafe North America partnered with Blue Fire Leadership to create two separate programs tailored to spark unity and facilitate a sense of community for the entire MBA community. The first program was a fully customized, half-day “INSPIRE” program for the second-year MBA students (class of 2020) who were there to mentor the new cohort (class of 2021). This impactful program truly allowed the second year students to deepen and build trust amongst the new cohort,  inspire mutual respect for one another, and offer fresh ways to communicate and collaborate as ONE team.

The second program was a Drum Cafe North America program which combines rhythm and a shift in thinking. This portion of the camp’s agenda was essential to change behaviors that build skills and drive high performance while also creating more effective collaboration and alignment for the new MBA students. Throughout the program, the W.P. Carey School of Business’ vision, mission, and institutional values were woven into the rhythmic program to enhance the experience and define meaning and relevance for all attendees.

The hybrid team-building program inspired and empowered the audience to reach, hold themselves accountable, be vulnerable, and most of all, be themselves as they learned new skills. Creating such a collaborative space in which they could celebrate their achievement and establish a community to help them navigate their first year at Carey allowed the students to celebrate, become prepared, and feel stronger together in their new environment.


TESTIMONIALS

Natalie Spiro and her team from Drum Cafe North America are more than just another organization that offers team building exercises. They distinguish themselves by utilizing customer input to deliver a unique experience that caters to the specific need and ensures no two programs are alike. For us here at W.P. Carey, Natalie took the time to research our MBA Program, understand our mission and goals, and interview our faculty to illuminate the true goals of exercise. I was astonished with her memory recall and attention to detail the day of the event. She really listened to our needs, and nailed it! If you are looking for something that moves beyond the cookie-cutter solutions out there, and really connects with the goals and objectives of your organization, Drum Cafe North America really delivers!”

-Client Testimonial

“[The] feedback from 1st years on the drumming session…was by far the students’ favorite session at camp.”

-Client Testimonial


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With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s time to start planning your end-of-year company party. Whether you’re hosting this annual celebration at an off-site venue or keeping it onsite, you can ensure a great time had by all with Drum Cafe North America’s 4 Do’s to help you plan an extraordinary holiday party: Drum Cafe North America Crowd Mover Programs
  1. Do Pick the Perfect Date – The most important element of a successful holiday party is your ATTENDEES. What’s a party without them? The majority of corporate holiday parties are held within the first two weeks of December, so we suggest booking for late November or early January when everyone is returning to work. Trust us, you will have plenty more venue options and your costs will be lower.
  2. Do Kick Off Your Event with Electricity – We aren’t talking about lighting here. Entertainment should be a top priority to engage your attendees and create energy for the rest of the party. Don’t just think about having a DJ. Everyone does that! Rather, invest in high-quality engaging activities and performers to make this night one to remember. Consider kicking off your event with one of Drum Cafe North America’s Crowd Mover programs. Picture stilt walkers, Brazilian dancers, indoor aerial drummers…and more. Crowd Mover programs are electric!
  3. Do Set Aside Time for Recognition – Spending time publicly appreciating your employees goes a long way and truly adds significant value to your festivities. Choose a few leaders from different divisions to speak on behalf of their department’s achievements and celebrate a productive year. Give a toast and set aside time for key leaders to speak to all of your attendees.
  4. Do Something New – It’s easy to plan a party like last year’s, especially if your event team got great feedback. But it’s equally as important to get creative and bring an element of surprise to your guests. Instead of going traditional with the catering, consider renting a food truck (or 2, or 3). They take the orders and produce the food, and you can celebrate pretty much anywhere! Other creative ideas to boost employee engagement include developing a themed gift exchange, renting a photo booth or Instagram booth, or giving every employee a paid afternoon off! We think the last option is dynamite.
Whichever way you go, we believe you can 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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The Mayo Clinic defines workplace burnout as “a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about one’s competence and work value.” We’ve all felt pressure on the job to make deadlines, stay extra late to complete a project, or help a colleague in need, and all the while we feel even more tired and somewhat unengaged.  Drum Cafe North America 5 Ways to Prevent Burnout in the Workplace How do we get past such feelings and get back our momentum? Working in a team is no different, and often the pressure feels more intense because we do not want to let our teammates down. It is not such a stretch to see how such experiences can lead employees down a path toward burnout. Taking the time to reflect and identify the factors that may correlate to workplace burnout in your organization is critical, but we tend to dismiss such activities for fear they take away from performing and accomplishing tasks. In reality, it only takes a few minutes to see if some of the following factors are noticeable and prevalent in your team: prolonged stress, unclear objectives, lack of recognition, lower engagement levels, missing days, etc. Chances are there are already employees on your team and in your workplace who are burned out – so, what action can you take now to help those employees? And, even more important, what can you do to prevent burnout? Drum Cafe North America is here to help, and we are sharing the following 5 ideas to help you SAVE your team from workplace burnout today.  #1 Recharge & Add Activities  Sometimes hitting the reset button is all you need to keep it moving. Add a fun and interesting activity during work hours to allow your team to socialize and bond. It could be as simple as a weekly event, such as a Walk It Wednesday or Foodfest Friday. Encourage everyone to participate. Taking that walk outside, or finding shared culinary interests through fun events not only gives your team members a real break, but allows them to connect and bond and just smile! We also suggest your corporate leadership facilitates discussions addressing hot topics like stress and fair workloads to remove the stigma surrounding such workplace issues.  #2 Promote Balance Plan and encourage active participation in team-building and mindfulness activities to boost engagement, move employees away from their desks, and enhance a sense of community within your workplace. Such activities build trust, respect, and collaboration among your team members and empower them to feel a stronger sense of self and team. #3 Be Proactive With so many internal shifts happening in the workplace, it’s vital to stay ahead of the game. Take a look at your calendar. What targets do you need to hit? Are there any product launches coming up? What may be a challenge for your team or one that requires an extra push? See the challenges before they happen and prepare your team as they work toward success. #4 Instill Psychological Safety Create an environment of trust and sense of togetherness. Being mindful, exuding gratitude, and advocating health and wellness in the workplace will enhance your team’s productivity and efficiency. Feeling safe in the workplace provides your employees a foundation in which they can be empowered and secure in their creativity, knowledge, and performance. #5 Advocate for your Team Sometimes the best thing you can be for your team is its advocate. Take the time to identify your shared challenges and successes. You have the voice to share with other leaders as to what issues are prevalent and what can be done to address and resolve issues such as workplace burnout. Take a stance and advocate for your team members so they feel heard, appreciated, and respected. Recharged, engaged and productive employees provide the best foundation for any company, will shift attitudes, create long-lasting results, and contribute to the growth of your company. Drum Cafe North America and Blue Fire Leadership help guide your way with our highly-customizable solutions. Contact us to explore options that are right for you.

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Summer is in full swing, and now is the time, more than ever, to improve productivity in the workplace. So many distractions or “noise” decrease engagement among and productivity in employees. Several of our clients’ pain points are in finding a solution to increase productivity, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  For the month of July, we’d like to offer Drum Cafe North America’s 3 Strategies to Improve Productivity Drum Cafe North America 3 Strategies to Improve Productivity When team members feel happy, appreciated and valued, managers and leadership teams, see the shift in productivity in performance and work. With the focus on hitting the numbers and ramping up product offerings, managers often lose sight of what’s right in front of them: an essential piece of their company– their employees There are several initiatives and efforts that can be rolled out at any company, big or small, to improve company culture, foster healthy and positive work relationships, and ultimately, improve productivity. Strategy #1: Pave the Way for Employee Success Onboarding makes or breaks a new hire’s journey and perception of the company.  As a member of the leadership team, not investing in the right tools and programs from the onset of a new hire’s career at your company can shift a promising employee, a high-functioning productive team member, to one that may not be so engaged and productive. At Drum Cafe North America we make the onboarding process highly engaging and memorable, making new hires excited about their new team and company. Strategy #2: Internally Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance It is vital that leadership teams promote a healthy work-life balance from within. Sometimes we get caught up in the day-to-day operations of the business and forget that our employees are PEOPLE, with families, personal obstacles, and other goals outside of their career. We know how much money and effort is put into recruiting top talent. We understand the need to find and hire the best. But what happens when there is employee burnout and they’re not the “best” anymore? Such burnout is real and more relevant than ever.  Wellness and engagement programs decrease stress, improve team morale, and increase productivity. You can have 1 engaged and productive team member and 100 disengaged and unproductive employees. Who do you think will make the biggest contribution to your company?  If people are stressed, it’s a loss for everyone and a detriment to your company’s growth. The aftereffects surface quickly and heavily, so remember to take the time to address the needs and wellness of your employees.  Strategy #3: Invest in Your Employees Many managers have a misconception that improving their employees’ skill sets is too costly and may cause employees to look at outside employment opportunities. But, in reality, when managers choose to improve their employees’ skill levels, they are actually adding value to their company. It should, therefore, be viewed as a smart investment. The more you contribute to and support your employees’ professional development, the more you will retain them. You are strengthening the people you already have, and who wouldn’t want that? Keeping them from growth is what will drive them away, so make sure you are investing in and growing your people!  Engaged and productive employees provide the best foundation to any company, will shift attitudes, create long-lasting results, and contribute to the growth of your company. Drum Cafe North America and Blue Fire Leadership can help guide your way with our highly customizable solutions that fit your company. Contact us to explore options.

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Because onboarding is so important, Drum Cafe North America and Blue Fire Leadership have created 6 tips to show how you can Onboard the Right Way. Drum Cafe North America Employee onboarding Tip #1: Make it Easy For Your New Hires to Build Connections. When they first walk in the door, new hires feel anxious and lost, because in most cases, they don’t know what they’re walking into or with whom they will work. The onboarding process needs to be as smooth and stress-free as possible, and although you can’t promise a 100% stress-free first few days of employment, you do have the power to control some of it. So, make it easy for them. Pair them up with another new hire and match them with a mentor- someone with solid experience within your company. This will add a layer of comfort that they did not have and will make it that much easier for them to concentrate on the material being presented to them.  Tip #2: Make Onboarding Interactive and Engaging. We’ve all been through a boring onboarding process, and let’s face it, none of us retained much at all. You were probably more focused on the clock than on the 3-inch training binder sitting in front of you. The more memorable and enjoyable it is, the more that vital information can be absorbed. Our Team-Can-Jam Cajon program, for instance, is the perfect way to kick-off your onboarding process. It’s all drumming! (With key messaging communicated by our expert facilitators.) All of the new employees (and mentors and others) are in unison from the get-go. This cooperative and collaborative energy flows through the entire program. Tip #3: Don’t Put New Hires in the Spotlight Drum Cafe North America and Blue Fire Leadership practice a form of team building that does not focus on competition – there is no winner or loser as we focus on uniting everyone– together! There are so many barriers today that truly keep us from growing closer together, so we automatically eliminate these barriers through the power of rhythm and unity.  Tip #4: Make Onboarding Collaborative. Your new hires won’t always be new. There will come a day where they begin guiding the new hires to the training room. It is vital to show them how dynamic your company is and to show them how other teams support each other. The onboarding process sets the tone for the employee. Collaboration is key, so start by etching it into the program. Tip #5: Analyze Your Company Culture. Poor company culture can have the most significant impact on your employee’s engagement, retention, and performance. If your teams are filled with in-fighting, backstabbing, lack of trust and intense individual competition, your new employees will feel that immediately. As a company, you have to walk the talk. If you want a collaborative environment, then review what is happening on the ground floor. Work to create a positive culture that is welcoming, productive and safe. Tip #6: Start Onboarding When New Hires Walk in the Front Door. At the initial onboarding kickoff, most new hires are zeroed in on the speakers and their new training materials. But, the real onboarding begins when they walk in your front door, and it is there where you can make sure they are greeted and guided in the right direction. These new hires need to feel welcomed and excited to become part of your company – to become a willing and driving force for your company’s success. It sounds simple, but most companies forget how those first step can create a sense of positivity or not. An empowering and engaging onboarding process offers an amazing opportunity for you to truly create the productive, aligned, inspired and collaborative team members you want for your company’s long-term success. Drum Cafe North America and Blue Fire Leadership can help guide your way.

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During the month of June, Drum Cafe North America is diving deep into strategies for training and onboarding programs across all verticals. As a team building company that works closely with Blue Fire Leadership for deeper dive Team and Leadership programs, we are often asked to provide kick-off engagements for quarterly meetings, company-wide events, and leadership programs during which we focus on aligning goals at both corporate and individual levels. We approach each client and program with the same verve and gusto; knowing well, we can play an important role in aligning and unifying teams and organizations. Drum Cafe North America - Team-Can-Jam Cajon Program Everything stems from a seed – successes, failures, learning gaps, inconsistency and even a loss of a sense of unity and community. That seed must be nourished so that it takes root and flourishes. In the corporate world, the seed is your company’s onboarding process, and from our years of experience, we know this to be a mission-critical event. For many companies like yours, onboarding is the only time new team members learn about company culture and values, morale, best practices, and expectations so that they can become productive and valuable members of the organization. Onboarding is the time to prepare new hires for what lies ahead. Because onboarding typically happens once, it must be engaging, interactive and memorable. It has a powerful impact on new hires and their first experience and impressions of the organization to which they just committed, so the type of onboarding engagement should be well thought-out and mindful. A successful onboarding program has the ability to inspire not only new hires but current employees and managers as well. It can serve as a reminder of all that is positive within your company, your goals, your culture and your ability to create an environment that is dedicated and committed to developing and rewarding its employees. At Drum Cafe North America, our customized onboarding programs, such as Team-Can-Jam Cajon Program, serve to enhance and communicate your company’s core values, messaging and goals, while creating a solid foundation for the unity, trust, and collaborative work.

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Incorporating professional development as part of your company’s plan for employees, managers and executives is critical to your long-term success. It proves that your company is willing to invest in its people, their goals, health and future. It is also a crucial element in attracting and retaining top talent. Drum Cafe North America Professional Development When an employee feels that the company they work for truly cares about their professional development and future, they, in turn, feel more valued and happier in their employment.   But, let’s take it one step further. An increase in job satisfaction leads to an increase in loyalty which leads to a decrease in turnover which leads to an increase in productivity. The positive results of investing in employees far outweigh the costs of development programs, such as continuing education and skills-based training. Your workforce becomes more competent, stays more relevant and helps drive your company forward. Unfortunately, many companies wrongly believe that investing in their employees will drive their workforce away, when the reality of it is that those companies that choose to invest are the companies employees want to stick around with. Here at Drum Cafe North America and Blue Fire Leadership, we work with many of the world’s leading companies to provide effective skill-based training in a unique, hands-on, and energizing way. A key element found in all of our programming, like Team Can Jam Cajon or Transform, is to push employees out of their comfort zones to foster a supportive and collaborative environment. This allows room for growth at all levels of your organization. Offering programs that contribute to your teams’ professional growth and development enables them to feel valued, grow and improve productivity. Invest in them today!

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In music, there is tonality and there is rhythm; two elements that work together to communicate emotion. In human discourse, words act as the rhythm while body language is the tonality. Each must work in harmony to evoke communication that is readily understood. Have you ever met someone who gave you a compliment while they were standing with arms crossed and without making eye contact? I bet you felt conflicted because the communication felt insincere, right? But, it sounded somewhat ok. That is because the rhythm of the words and the tonality of the body language were not in alignment. Drum Cafe North America Blog Post When addressing the dynamics of communication, whether in the corporate world, at school or at home, it is critical to assess both verbal and non-verbal communication cues. In our practices at Drum Cafe North America, such as our Symphony of Rhythm program, we facilitate group drumming activities in corporate team-building workshops as a meaningful and engaging way to bring awareness to the rhythms and tonalities of communication without bristling another’s defenses. We guide individuals to connect and operate as a singular, cohesive team by inviting them to explore their own communication styles through the music of drumming. By providing this forum rather than offering the typical analysis of direct and potentially harsh feedback, we enable individuals to realize their own patterns and those of their colleagues. Through body language alone, we teach, it is easy to spot the soul who is comfortable in a room; who is excited or bored or even who is anxious and fearful. By inviting individuals to communicate using a different medium—in our case, the drum—we help them better understand their overall challenges and triumphs when trying to convey ideas and thoughts in a much more effective and successful manner. Helping to build teams through the rhythm of communication enables better alignment and purposeful shifts in behavior to create more open communication and collaborative environments. Are you looking for experts in team building and leadership development? At Drum Cafe North America and Blue Fire Leadership, we offer customizable programs to align your teams, build more effective communications, instill positive and transformative change and create one united organization poised for excellence.

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What was Kaiser Permanente hoping to achieve? Kaiser Permanente was launching their newly curated KP Leadership University program. They were searching for something to get their participants jazzed by means of an extremely energizing and holistic approach. They envisioned this launch to connect their participants with Kaiser Permanente’s vision and essential elements of their newly launched leadership program while also connecting these carefully chosen recipients to each other. Beyond this, an element of surprise was an absolute must to not only excite their audience but boost the experience to further mark this program as a differentiator for KP and for the inaugural class.

Drum Cafe North America Programs

Why did KP choose Drum Cafe North America? Drum Cafe North America was a natural choice as Kaiser Permanente had previously experienced Natalie Spiro, our President & Founder, along with the rest of our tribe.

KP understood the power that DCNA creates in a group as well as our unique ability to both understand and convey powerful messaging catered to their organization’s vision and newly launched leadership program.

Kaiser Permanente entrusted DCNA as we set a high standard for energizing and enhancing team building activities and tactfully curated a highly customized program. The experience as a whole was one that was both visually stimulating and brilliantly entertaining.

Final Outcomes: It is said here most meaningfully by KPLU Director of L&D and Executive L&D, Laura Dannels: We had absolutely RAVE REVIEWS from our sponsors Julie Miller-Phipps and Annie Russell at the Drum Cafe North America. Natalie did such an amazing job of weaving our business objectives throughout the content and the participants had an amazing time!! I would highly recommend bringing in Drum Cafe North America for any of your needs. She understands leadership and is able to weave your specific themes throughout any program. We are planning to use them annually for the KP Leadership University Program all SCAL managers will be attending, Activate.

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In November of 2012, I had the opportunity to deliver a TEDxFiDi talk, “Ubuntu: The Rhythm of Connection.” In the 17-minute presentation, I was able to utilize the power of group drumming to illustrate the concept of Ubuntu and help attendees develop a deeper understanding of their connection to the world around them. Ubuntu means, “I am who I am because of those around me.” Nothing illustrates that point more clearly than group drumming. We have connections to other people each moment of the day, whether that connection is positive or negative is another story. What we aim to do using drumming is to help individuals find the Rhythm of Connection with others in a positive way. Drum Cafe North America Natalie Spiro TEDx Talk Since the TEDx talk, I’ve had many opportunities to deliver my keynote program for corporations around the US from San Francisco to Chicago. With each organization, the program has a slightly different goal. Whether we’re introducing new hires to the corporate culture, launching a diversity and inclusion program or inspiring senior leadership, Drum Cafe North America has been really busy bringing the concept of Ubuntu to the corporate arena’s across every industry vertical. In more recent months, my TEDx talk has continued to inspire my development of new workshops on the rhythm of connection, innovation, trust, and communication, and just what all this means for shifting corporate culture. I’ve been overwhelmed by the tremendous response to my latest programs, including my two-day Leadership Summit, partnering with BLUE FIRE LEADERSHIP, in which teams of leaders and individual contributors, gain a stronger understanding of their dynamics, of how they can be a more cohesive and high performing force. Celebrating thought leadership at the TEDx conference has not only helped me to further establish myself as a leader in the corporate team-building world but also to dive deeper into what I already offer and take it to the next level.