Redefining corporate culture, as with composing a piece of music, requires creativity, patience and consistency. In 2016, Tony Lombardo, newly appointed CEO of Lendlease Asia, an international property and infrastructure group, saw an opportunity to improve delivery of the Lendlease brand. The company’s Asia operation had been underperforming prior to his arrival, and he felt that a big part of the solution was to generate greater engagement among employees as to the company’s purpose and core values — shaping cities and creating strong, connected communities through Respect, Integrity, Innovation, Collaboration, Excellence and Trust. Around the same time, Tony met Christo Alexander, SongDivision’s GM for Asia, and the journey of building a stronger corporate culture using music began.
Tony’s primary goal was to inspire employees to be bolder, more collaborative, and more comfortable taking risks. It was determined that Lendlease’s annual Senior Leadership Conference Asia provided the optimal opportunity in which to celebrate the company’s core values and introduce these new ideas, and music provided the perfect vehicle in which to do so.
For the 2016 Senior Leadership Conference Asia at the Capitol Theatre in Singapore, SongDivision delivered an evening of interactive entertainment with our 6-piece band comprised of top session musicians. Tony Lombardo sought to unite Asia-Pacific executives and the Singapore office team with an energetic set of Live Band Karaoke. To establish the tone for his new vision, Tony took the stage first to sing an unforgettable version of Foo Fighters’ ‘The Pretender’, a song he personally requested pre-event. Although the team were hesitant at first, Tony’s example inspired them to be bold and reminded them that they were in a safe place. Soon after, team members began to make their way to the stage and perform their own favourite tunes backed by the SongDivision band. Attendees performed with our musicians deep into the night feeling empowered and more connected than ever before — a new era had begun.
The 2017 Conference at the Shangri-La Sentosa Resort in Singapore built upon core themes established the previous year. This time SongDivision delivered an interactive team building experience — Song Slam — followed by evening entertainment for 150 in attendance, including regional leaders. The Song Slam enabled 3 teams of 50 to creatively share their voice with respect to the conference theme, ‘One Lendlease’. As in the previous year, team members were eased out of their comfort zone and into a safe creative space as each group worked with the SongDivision band to write, and later perform, original songs in a friendly battle-of-the-bands competition. The songs were a hit, and the experience allowed attendees to not only bond with co-workers, but also to connect more deeply with core Lendlease values including Collaboration, Trust, and Innovation.
In 2018 at the W Sentosa in Singapore, SongDivision once again provided interactive entertainment, this time in the form of our Lip Sync Battle in addition to Live Band Karaoke and multiple sets from our Gala Awards & Party Band. For this event, 6 teams of 20 were given 3 hours to work together and prepare a choreographed lip sync song, which they later performed for all attendees at the evening’s awards gala. Participants raved about the experience allowing them to express themselves creatively and building trust with teammates and co-workers. The team was beginning to embody the attitude and values Tony had envisioned two years prior.
For their most recent Leadership Conference at the Conrad Centennial Singapore, Lendlease sought an immersive music experience to truly tie together the past 4 years of cultural transformation and to support this year’s theme of ‘Good to Great’. SongDivision led attendees in the creation and performance of an original Team Anthem, once again rallying the confidence and collaboration Tony sought to inspire. In addition, our General Session Band provided IntroHits each morning and following particular sessions to support the conference theme and drive home key messaging. SongDivision further provided evening entertainment with our Rock & Roll Game Show, and of course, the program that started it all for Lendlease, Live Band Karaoke.
Over the 4-year relationship between Lendlease Asia and SongDivision, Tony Lombardo has patiently built on his vision, using music to generate greater engagement and confidence among employees. At each successive Conference he and SongDivision have built on this theme, challenging attendees, easing them out of their comfort zones, and uniting them through music-fueled programming. The culture within Lendlease Asia is noticeably improved from 2016 with greater collaboration and desire to take risks in pursuit of innovation. And, the effort has paid off as Lendlease Asia has experienced an astonishing 5x increase in revenue over the 4-year period.
“I wanted to test my people, bring them out of their comfort zone and get them to think differently. SongDivision was the perfect partner to help me achieve that.” Tony Lombardo, CEO, Lendlease Asia
SongDivision proudly works with the world’s leading companies year after year to provide interactive music experiences that memorably communicate key messaging and unite teams around company purpose.
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