Keynote / General Session Team Building Leadership Entertainment School / Faculty Program Not Sure / Custom

Flying High With Drum Cafe

A strong brand evokes loyalty and trust. It can also delight and elevate its customer base. In the case of Virgin America– specifically Virgin Airlines – the 8 million who have flown with them so far have helped Virgin America garner Best Domestic Airline 3 years in the running. But this is not a commercial for Virgin America.  It’s an examination of why they have hired Drum Cafe to run 22 consecutive team-building programs this Fall, reaching those who work in nearly every aspect of the airline’s business. That’s over 1600 4000 hands creating rhythm together. What’s the expectation?

Virgin America is planning a massive expansion to include more destinations and more planes. This will effect everyone — guest services, in-flight, flight ops, tech ops, marketing, IT, finance, and administration. It’s time for celebration but also time to dig into a deep communications strategy. Virgin has tapped Drum Cafe to weave their core values into our training program so that no matter how diverse their workforce may be – the dominant, universal learning style is leveraged [via drumming] and everyone walks away with a clear understanding of what makes Virgin America tick so strong.

These REFRESH conferences as they are called, enable smaller groups to convene. We start with the ordinary and groove into the extraordinary. The ordinary being 75 people gathered in a conference room. The extraordinary being drums in everyone’s hands and a rare opportunity to see the possibility of each person’s contribution to the mix.

What I find most important about Virgin America’s decision to engage Drum Cafe for their corporate team building initiative is how consistent it is with their brand. They don’t expect their team to understand the true power of elevation if they don’t experience it themselves. They could have chosen other exercises to reinforce teamwork and leadership, but Virgin America knows the power of play. They infuse joy and excitement into so many aspects of their customer experience, so why not give that same experience to their employees?

So next time you fly Virgin America, start drumming on your armrest and wink at the flight attendant. I bet they’ll wink back like you share a secret handshake.

In Joy and Rhythm,

Natalie Spiro

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