Hug it Out of Slug it Out? More from Summer Brand Camp

By Posted in - Professional Development on June 11th, 2012

In my last post, I talked about some of my favorite things about Summer Brand Camp. Today, I wanted to dig a little deeper into the first thing from that list which was the collaborative song writing exercise, led by Banding People Together. In addition to thinking things like this are just really fun, I love to observe the human dynamics in these types of situations.

The first thing I noticed was all the different backgrounds represented in the room. People came from different states, some were in marketing while others were in HR or operations, we had cat lovers and dog lovers (if you know me at all, you know…), we had people who thought we should write our song in a major key to make it sound uplifting and others wanted the darker sound that comes from a minor key, and we had those who enjoy curse words and those who do not. Sound familiar? It should. It describes most people’s work environments.

Our first task was coming up with a name. Brant, our facilitator, stressed the importance of consensus to teamwork. When it seemed there wasn’t one choice that everyone loved (sounds familiar again, eh?), Brant did something that I thought was brilliant to bring in the few folks who didn’t agree with the majority. He gave them something special… or I suppose you could say he played to their egos. Either way, it worked! The females in the room agreed on The Summer Brand Cramps. Two guys, George and Michael, were opposed. So, we became George Michael and the Summer Brand Cramps, and eventually George Clay Michael and the Summer Brand Cramps to include the name of the third guy in our group. With their names getting the spotlight, we reached consensus. Hmmm, I’m going to remember that little trick.

Next we debated style, lyrics, should we use the f word in our song, all kinds of fun things! Then, we were down to the wire to finish our song in time for the performances, and we had the biggest debate about how the song should end. When you read the lyrics below, you’ll get a sense for the path the song was taking and musically, there was a lot of angst in it. Brant advised that it wouldn’t go with the flow for it to end all happy happy. It came down to one line. Should it be “slug it out” or “hug it out?” “Slug it out” really fit more with the overall tone and feel of the song, but really everyone in the room was of the mindset of resolution when applying our song to real life and we just couldn’t feel right with “slug it out.” Plus, @IamCathyMac (follow her — she’s new on Twitter. Tell her she’s doing a great job!) who was so sweetly persuasive really wanted “hug it out.” See, sweetness can get you so far in negotiations!

The last thing I have to say is that I was originally adamantly opposed to putting something about a cat in our song. But even my canine loving heart found myself agreeing to change a “now” to a “meow” because from across the room I had started to adore and respect a (gasp!) cat lover for her creative ideas and the collaborative way she played the game. We even added a little kitty choreography, and man oh man, what a great time we had performing our song! We were a team that overcame our differences, and we were proud to be teammates. And we still think we were better than all of the other teams! With that said and without further ado, I give you the lyrics to “Meow”….

I hear you b!+@#ing but we ain’t listening

Your lips are moving but words aren’t sinking in

You say you really care, but I just don’t see it there

We gotta do this or we’ll be outta here

Just shut your big mouth

Stop messing around

Let’s get the job done

It’s time to have some fun, MEOW

You say you’re trying, but it’s not working out

I think you’re lying, so let’s just hug it out (awwww)

Just shut your big mouth

Stop messing around

Let’s get the job done

It’s time to have some fun, MEOW

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