Building Startup Culture Through Music – Part 2 - - Relationship Intelligence for Sales

Building Startup Culture Through Music – Part 2

By Paul Teshima in Leadership


The earliest forms of music can be dated through the instruments that have been found, some over 40,000 years old. Music has been an essential part of human evolution and culture since the beginning of time. In fact you could argue that music is the only universal language that exists today. This is one reason I decided to try and bring the team closer together using music (see previous post).

As promised here is the results of this experiment:

NudgeMusic the Voting

First thing I learned is that 48 songs are way too many to vote on at a social.  So I whittled it down to 16 songs. The voting sheets looked like this:


And off we went, with an academy-awards-style fervor, we played, listened and voted on each song. I was surprised how focused people were, and how hard they tried to guess the right person for each song.  Yes we had prizes ($50 itunes gift card), but I think the effort came from everyone’s pride that “of course I know who chose that song”.  When done, we passed the sheets and started marking the answers.

At this point, it was a pretty animated group, I could tell the enjoyment level was high, laughter loud, and shouts of “I knew that was yours” kept the momentum going.

After all was said and done, Andrew (Senior Architect) walked away with the title with over 30% of his answers correct.


What were the things we learned from this exercise:

  1.     “Destruction of all stereotypes” – Zoe, Senior Data Scientist.  This may seem obvious. You are going to have people choose songs that you didn’t expect them to like.  However the part that was not obvious was how quickly this changed other potential stereotypes you may have. Finding out Anna (one of the younger team members) has “the musical tastes of a 50 year old man”, changes the range of topics you think she will find interesting.
  2.     A great way to stay connected as a team.  The simple fact that everyone (once in a while) is listening to the same music while at work, is a small anchor to the culture and the business.  The team has decided to keep the playlist a living breathing thing, so it will be interesting to see if it “herds” everyone to a group of songs/bands/genres over the next few months.

What’s next?  Someone suggested we all go to a concert for our next social, Nikki Minaj? Rural Alberta Advantage?  Unlike a playlist, it maybe harder to choose a concert that will be great for everyone.  But one thing is for sure…NudgeMusic is here to stay.

Click here to view the playlist


Tell us about a company event or ritual that you’ve been apart of that resulted in a more cohesive team or company culture! We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Paul Teshima
CEO and Co-founder
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