Back in 1940 during World War Two, the BBC aired a radio programme called Music While You Work, aimed to help factory workers become more productive. Today, some organizations have choirs, orchestras and bands. Music is a brilliant way for people from different teams to meet each other, mixing socially, and this interaction contributes to an organization’s culture.
I used to work for the UK Government’s (now defunct) Office of Government Commerce (OGC). It had three main areas of work: procurement, programme and project management, and property – all very different disciplines working under one ‘umbrella’. It also had offices in four cities across the UK. It would have been easy not to meet colleagues but effort was made to bring people together, primarily by the staff themselves.
The OGC Billionaires was a band that ran for several years, with people from all three of the main disciplines and from communication, finance and IT. These individuals worked hard at their day jobs and put in extra hours to make the band a success.
Their biggest fan was the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Andrew Turnbull (now Lord Turnbull). From 2002-2005 he was the UK’s most senior civil servant, the head of the Civil Service, and made every effort to attend the band’s gigs; they played at his leaving do.
Here’s a sample of the OGC Billionaires in 2007, playing at the leaving do for OGC’s then outgoing Chief Executive.