How to harmonise solo voices

The challenge of how to connect employees inside an organisation so that regardless of location, shift pattern or role, they feel part of ‘one company’ is a constant quest for businesses – and rightly so.

There are countless articles online featuring hints and tips from comms pros sharing what has worked for them. Phrases like connecting remote workers, unconnected employees and the like are used. (You can find these terms and more on my new internal comms glossary).

Something that goes alongside this is the role and importance of employee voice. (I recommend reading Kevin Ruck’s book Exploring Internal Communication: Towards Informed Employee Voice if you’re interested in reading more about this topic).

What do you do in your organisation when it comes to connecting employees? Who do you know who has introduced something that has worked for them to communicate effectively with remote workers? Are you aware of any case studies you think I should highlight? Do please let me know.

The reason this sprang to mind is because yesterday I spent the day with my parents. I grew up in an extremely musical family, and my 15 month old daughter was experiencing what it’s like to play the piano from a young age. Let’s just call it a joyful, if not tuneful, din.

Collective voices
My family started talking about music, as we often do, and my Dad showed me a clip on YouTube that is stunning. It’s a ‘virtual choir’ singing a choral piece by Eric Whitacre.

It works like this; Eric videos himself conducting and the clip is shared with singers around the world who volunteer to participate.

They then upload clips of themselves singing the part that is relevant for their voice, and they are all stitched together to produce a complete piece of music. The end result is something extraordinary, particularly when you bear in mind they have never met, but are all performing as one.

The first time this happened was in 2010, with 150+ people all over the world recording their part. Since then the choir has gone on to record more pieces and post them to YouTube.

The most recent one was filmed in July this year and to date 8,409 videos featuring 5,905 singers from 101 countries have contributed to and performed four of Eric’s pieces.

You can view the story behind the film here and check out the virtual choir website.

The lilting harmonies are haunting and they are all striking pieces of music. I’m sharing them because this ideas resonates with me – the idea of people being in their own space and contributing to something that collectively sounds beautiful and harmonises.

Inspiration can take many forms and I’m curious to know what you think of this approach. Feel free to tweet me @AllthingsIC or comment below.



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