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Is your company culture truly inclusive? Despite their best intentions, many companies find that creating a culture of inclusion is much easier said than done. This is because inclusion requires more than just policies — it involves acceptance of values and beliefs with which many are unfamiliar. Influencing your company at this level starts with your leaders, and preparing them to instill these values within their teams starts with music.

It takes more than policies and hiring methods to create a culture of inclusion. “Diversity in itself does not create inclusion — an inclusive environment must be intentionally designed, nurtured and supported” encompassing everything from the language you use, to your daily interactions, training programs, benefits packages, and more [source: Pride At Work]. To accomplish this, you need commitment from your leadership team.


“Diversity in itself does not create inclusion — an inclusive environment must be intentionally designed, nurtured and supported.”


Leaders set the tone and establish trust across your company, and they need continual and memorable education to be effective. When it comes to inclusion, your leadership team should be promoting a psychologically safe work environment — as described by McKinsey “when employees feel comfortable asking for help, sharing suggestions informally, or challenging the status quo without fear of negative social consequences” [source: McKinsey]. This hinges on the ability of your leaders to create a positive team climate by being consultative, supportive, and challenging.

As you might imagine these are not concepts taught overnight or retained from a PowerPoint deck, and this is where music comes in. If inclusion starts with your leaders, and your leaders need steady training to promote the right environment, then musical experiences are the vehicle to get them there in a collaborative and meaningful way.

Why Music?

  • Improves interpersonal coordination & pro-social thinking
    Using music-based programming to educate your leadership team can facilitate strong social bonds and positive thinking towards others. Studies have shown that integrating music, movement and visual information enhances interpersonal coordination (i.e. working efficiently and effectively with colleagues) and strengthens bonds among the group experiencing it [source: Stupacher et al].
  • Influences long-term memory & retrieval
    Musical experiences have long-been linked with improved memory and recall, especially music that evokes strong emotions. Incorporating musical experiences into leadership training can result in a deeper level of learning, producing stronger memory formation and retrieval [source: Eschrich et al].
  • Supports emotional, sensory development
    It has been increasingly suggested that corporate training programs benefit from the use of emotional and sensory content. “People remember immersive and engaging experiences more clearly and for a longer time. It’s critical that learning programs prompt leaders to engage with and shift their underlying beliefs, assumptions, and emotions to bring about lasting mindset changes. This requires expertly designed learning environments that increase self-awareness, spark the desire for further growth, and drive collective growth and performance” [source: McKinsey].

When developing a culture of inclusion, start by creating an emotionally stimulating and memorable training atmosphere for your leaders, using music. Then watch as the positive vibes and inclusive mindset spread among your people.SongDivision has been carefully refining music-driven team building and educational programs for over two decades. For more on developing an inclusive work environment and strengthening your company culture using the science of music, check out our Culture Club programs.


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