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LEARNING FROM MUSICIANS ABOUT COLLABORATION DURING COVID-19

by | Sep 17, 2020

As the months wear on and it’s still difficult for many employees to go back to offices, many companies could learn a lot from how musicians are collaborating during Covid-19.

While working from home has gone over better than expected for many companies, collaboration has been one facet of work that has taken a hit. I was fortunate to speak with David Wimbish, the lead singer and songwriter for The Collection, an alternative-pop band from North Carolina, about how he and his band have worked together remotely while locked down and what people in any industry can learn from their experiences.

David and the rest of the band found ways to collaborate remotely until just two weeks ago, when they had their first in-person rehearsals (with masks and other Covid-19 precautions in place).

1. Give people the freedom and tools to go through their own creative processes.

David shares, “Our arranging process relies so much on group ideas coming together but, with seven people, everyone has a different process that works best for them.” As David says, some members of The Collection do well when they have time to run through a part of a song on their own without fear of taking up too much precious rehearsal time, but others need to run through a part in pairs or small groups until they get it right together. The important application is to give everyone the right kind of space for their creative style.

Similarly, just as David tries to get his bandmates the foundations of a song so that they handle individual creative work, corporate employees want time and resources to prepare their creative efforts. That preparation goes especially far in collaborative meetings, as time is no longer wasted bringing people up to speed. Musicians and corporate employees alike often collaborate most effectively when they’re able to do it their own way first.

“If we’d continued the way we’d been writing, we definitely wouldn’t have showcased the best of each member because I don’t think we understood the proper space or togetherness each member needed before,” David says.

2. Take an honest look at what’s working and what isn’t.

“When the pandemic started, we thought we were about halfway done with arranging a fully written new album. After working in quarantine for a few weeks, we realized our record wasn’t ready and that we wanted to write a lot more songs and really get the best material possible before releasing something new, so now we’re back in the writing process,” David tells.

This has been a down year for many businesses. While there are clear struggles with that, it does bring with it an opportunity to see if there are things that can be improved upon. While business is slower, we can put more consideration into our processes for long term benefits.

3. Find things to can carry into post-pandemic work.

“I think that many of these new practices will stick. Right now, I’m coming up with a ton of new song ideas and tossing them to the band, then the band is sending ideas all around. Some people are collaborating on the computer and others are waiting for rehearsals,” David says. “I think we’re finding a groove that will stay with us past the pandemic.”

Many companies have found things during the lockdown that they want to carry forward. For example, in one of our recent benchmarking surveys, we found that 60% of respondents are considering reducing the amount of office space they currently have with more employees working from home long term. Other participants mentioned improvements to I&D practices and employee work-life balance.

You can find outstanding music from both The Collection and David Wimbish (solo) on your preferred streaming service.

Want to improve your team’s collaboration? Tribe can help.

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