Attendees of the opening ceremony of the 2018 Hollywood Scavenger Hunt presented by title sponsor Art and Culture Center/Hollywood on December 6 will be treated to an extra special experience facilitated by Emerald Hills resident Jeff Jacob, who has been writing for the Gazette for the last few months about the art of collaboration.
While we cannot share exactly what the experience will be, you might guess that it will be…collaborative. Because that’s what Jacob does.
When he’s not busy at his day job as Assistant Executive Director at B’nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton, Jacob might be found rescuing stray animals, giving his time to various non-profits, or preparing and delivering TEDx talks.
But most likely, he’ll be working with the company he founded in 2012, The Song Team, which offers a unique spin on team building. Using the fundamentals of music to solve problems and foster communication, the Song Team can creatively focus on challenges facing organizations and groups large and small.
“I had been running a large recording studio in Nashville, Dark Horse Recording Studios, a magical place, really,” recalls Jacob, “where lots of famous artists like Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, and Neil Diamond came to record. The owner of Dark Horse had started talking and writing about his experiences with these big stars –why they came to him when they had lots of other choices. It morphed into a unique story of the studio and he began talking and writing about customer service and leadership.”
While running the studio, Jacob was also helping the studio owner market his new business as a motivational speaker, and he got to learn the world of corporate speaking.
There he noticed that people who knew the world of business but were not great speakers, and great speakers who knew nothing about business, could come together, and create great presentations.
“As a musician, it occurred to me that in the history of songwriting, probably 90% of the biggest songs of all time were collaborative pieces,” he continued. “From Broadway to Motown to Tin Pan Alley to modern day country, most songs were written by two or sometimes more people with mutually complementary skill sets. Later on, it was Leiber and Stoller, Lennon and McCartney (and sometimes the others) Jagger and Richards — they got together to complement each other and create the soundtrack of a generation.”
Realizing “the power of the collective,” and that there is always interconnecting in any great idea in business as well as music, Jacob began thinking about how he could combine professional development and songwriting into an interactive experience that would outshine a simple presentation.
And The Song Team was born.
“For my first gig, I did small a small breakout session of about 20 or 30 people at the Univesity of Indiana,” Jacob said. “I had formed a relationship with the client, got my boss a gig as a keynote speaker, and told the client that I did teambuilding by songwriting. I said I was brand new — she didn’t know how brand new, she was the first! — and bartered a discounted rate for having their A/V department do my first video. They brought me back two times! And it grew from there.”
A session with The Song Team includes collaborative songwriting, beginning with a narrative which revolves around the client’s needs. Clients fill out a pre-session questionnaire which focuses on their current situation, goals, and challenges.
Jacob said that he’s particularly successful with company mergers and new product launches.
“We do lots of brainstorming, and always go in with a pre-written hook, to stay on track,” he pointed out. “I never leave anything to chance so nothing important gets left out. “I always know somewhat where I want to steer it but I never tell the participants what to say. Songwriting is just a tool to help people learn that there are many ways to say the same thing.”
Jacob has now become something of an expert on the science of collaboration. You can see it when you read his column here in the Gazette, and you’ll experience it at the kick off for the Hollywood Scavenger Hunt (the Hunt for Good) at the Hollywood Jaycees Hall on December 6th.
While we can’t tell you exactly what the night will entail, it will, as you might expect, involve music, collaboration, and Hollywood.
And, from now until then, he’s looking for input, seeking words and phrases that express what Hollywood means to you. Please email your thoughts to [email protected]
“The Hunt for Good is a collaborative event all around,” noted Jacob. “It allows all the participants to see their city through new eyes and also to see new things about themselves, and discover their own new talents. It’s very much about collaboration and team and open-mindedness, and that’s what The Song Team does too.”
As our meeting concludes, Jacob shares with me the chorus of a song he’s in the middle of writing which says, in a nutshell, that when we help each other out, all boats rise, and everyone’s life gets better.
Maybe we can all collaborate, and help him write the rest of the verses.
For information on The Song Team, contact [email protected], 615 974 0225 or visit https://thesongteam.com