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Singing the Blues?

Then this band aid may be just what your lagging work force needs.

Does your company have the blues? Or, more specifically, the "Overcommitted Blues," the "Buzzword Blues" or even the "e-Commerce Blues"? Face the Music (FTM) can help. This blues band comes in to energize your work force, increase teamwork, reduce stress and improve communication. "The blues are a celebration of freedom and possibilities," says Mitch Ditkoff, FTM's creative director. "It's liberating and empowering for people to have this forum to say what's on their minds [about their company]."

Singing the blues also jazzes up all those not-so-exciting meetings and conferences. Joyce Wykoff, co-founder of Innovation Network, a professional organizational association in Santa Barbara, found that out when she hired FTM to kick off her company's main convention in 2000. "We liked this idea of getting people involved. They could write their own blues and think about what complaints would lead to the blues," says Wykoff, 56. "It's about looking at complaints in a fun, humorous way and then talking about what [to] do about them."

Ditkoff notes that sharing among colleagues can reach a fevered pitch when people write their own blues lyrics and make up blues names (Ditkoff goes by "Blind Willy Nilly"). And the point to songs such as "The Overcommitted Blues" is to get people thinking about what they can do to change--so they won't sing "My calendar's full/My daytimer's frayed/My voice mail's overloaded/I'm way underpaid."

This story appears in the April 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »