Teach Your Teams How To R.O.C.K.!

According to David Fishof and Scott Keller at McKinsey, your companies teams need 4 things to “Rock”.   David is CEO of Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp and Scott is a part-time musician and Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, who have observed that the best bands – the ones that last – achieve levels of teamwork and collaboration that business leaders would envy.

This is how they do it.

R: Role clarity:

Heart’s Nancy Wilson, who has sold over 35 million albums in her career, explains: “Staying relevant in music is like in marriage, you have to renew your vows every few years. Everyone has to understand and commit to what their role is, and they have to do it well. I play guitar, and I’m expected to play guitar well; it’s not a prop! At the same time, you can’t expect others to do things they can’t do. Great bands figure out each other’s relative strengths and weaknesses and members play their roles accordingly.”

O: Objective setting:

Paul Stanley from Kiss, among the highest selling rock ‘n’ roll acts of all time, shares: “Success doesn’t happen by chance. Without big goals, you’ll never make it big. At the same time, breaking the journey down into smaller, manageable goals on the way to the big picture makes those larger goals feel achievable. Those small victories start to accumulate, build momentum, and, in time, what may have felt impossible at the start becomes reality.”

C: Communication:

Roger Daltrey of The Who, one of the 20th century’s most influential rock bands, reflects: “Communication is fundamental to the success of a band – it’s the lifeblood. When things start to go off the rails, it’s not going to come back without good communications. And if the band doesn’t communicate well with each other, they’ll never be able to connect with their audience. Keep it simple and straightforward, be respectful but honest with each other. Then you’re building on a strong foundation.”

K: Killer attitude:

(Yes, by “killer” we mean “excellent” – that’s rock ‘n’ roll!) Singer and guitarist Sammy Hagar, with 25 platinum album certifications, describes: “The biggest thing that gets in the way of teamwork in a band is ego. When someone, or everyone, thinks their ‘thing’ is the most important thing, it all falls apart. The great professionals and greatest bandmates are confident in their abilities and humble enough to work to build others up, and themselves be open to learning. When this happens, there is mutual respect. When mutual respect is there, magic can happen.”

The last word goes to Ed Oates, Oracle’s co-founder and a guitarist, who sums it up well:

“In a band you’ve got different people with different attitudes and skills coming together to achieve a common goal. When it works, the outcome is greater than the sum of the parts. It’s far more than just five individual stars. It’s the same in business - it’s that kind of teamwork that’s behind sustainable success.”

At Swarm, we are passionate about building tools that provide teams with an ecosystem that fosters the 4 mantras of rock.

As it comes to teamwork, then let us say – and say it loud, “Let there be R.O.C.K.”


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