If corporate employees are singing the blues, maybe it's time for management to face the music.
That's the philosophy behind Face the Music, (www.facethemusicblues.com), created by Woodstock, N.Y. — based management consultant Mitch Ditkoff and friends as a fun way to air issues during corporate meetings. Companies such as General Electric and Pfizer have hired Face the Music for “musical interventions,” which typically involve Ditkoff and company interviewing employees, writing original blues parodies and performing them at company meetings. Then they split attendees into groups in which they write and later perform their own blues. Band members — some of whom are professional musicians — double as group facilitators.
“It's a good way to pull a program together and have people bond,” says Tony Coticelli, manager of assessments and career development for Roseland, N.J. — based ADP, a payroll and human-resource services firm that hired Face the Music for an executive training program. “I sat in as drummer, and people saw another side of me. More important, they saw another side of each other.”
“We use the blues as a metaphor to have people look at tough issues and to give people permission to express themselves,” says Ditkoff, who serves as emcee and lead clarinetist. “It's fun, it juices up conferences, and it benefits the company and its people.”