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Creating a Culture of Innovation in the Workplace

Date: Monday 30th January 2017

Our November members’ event took place at Park Plaza Victoria where we set the mic for an outstanding workshop session with the brilliant talents from SongDivision. If you still haven’t met the inspiring Sam McNeill, now is the time to learn a little more about him the Aussie-born company he represents.

We started off our meeting with a delicious glass of champagne, followed by a brainstorming exercise on what innovation means to us. But really, what is innovation and why people and companies are often wrong about its real meaning? Innovation is the future, it is a change, it is evolution, and it certainly means being creative and thinking outside the box. These are just a few of the descriptions we came up with. More than anything, it is important to understand that innovation is different from creating something from scratch. By being innovative we aren’t entrepreneurial, these aren’t interchangeable terms but it is possible to be both. Taking an idea and tweaking it in a way that best suits your company’s objectives is what innovation means. There is a famous saying that ‘’Musicians are great innovators because they’re very good at stealing others’ songs’’, Sam says.

‘’Did you know that the biggest hits in the world are played on 4 chords? Check this video if you don’t believe it: 4 chord video – this shows what innovation can achieve in its most beautiful ways. Moreover, it shows simplicity and how powerful it can be.

After the great musicians played a set of 4-chord songs, Sam continued with a little exercise which required each one of us to introduce ourselves and share what was the first album we owned and the first gig we'vw been to. The aim of the exercise was not to detect how confident we sound when we speak but to test what our attention span is. Have you noticed sometimes how we talk to someone else and instead of actively listening to what they’re saying we are waiting to hear what’s next and think about what we will say. Well, this is a clear example of ineffective communication. 'Living in the moment' isn’t just a phrase but a philosophy professionals, and people in general, should live by. Being right there, in that moment, and being responsive and interested to hear what the other person is communicating fosters building a real relationship and learning experience. Being heard is what each one of us aims to achieve and we should pay this respect to those speaking.

Communication comes in various shapes and forms but in order to achieve company success employees should talk to each other and always be there for each other. Look at the Beatles, they didn’t always get along but always had each other’s backs and this is precisely what kept them going. They took other people’s ideas and turned them into world’s hits. And they achieved all their successes thanks to one more element – collaboration.

Collaboration brings people together, challenges their creativity and provokes them to work closely in the name of a common goal. This is where our lyric-writing skills came in handy as Sam was encouraging us to write song lyrics. What a great and fun idea. I won’t reveal much here but our members certainly loved getting involved and brainstorming in teams!

Lastly, we talked about creativity and that being creative doesn’t mean you are inventing something that will change the world but that you are being smart and strategic. It is about creating lyrics that might not mean much (such as ‘’ I like to travel in my car Strumming my sweet sweet guitar I want to travel far away With my clubs at Park Plaza #freestay’’) and putting a melody behind them – something simple that created an unforgettable experience for our members because it was creative and encouraged us to work collaboratively.

In the work place communication, collaboration and creativity are crucial elements to bring innovation but none of these would matter if there is no trust between everyone. Trusting your colleagues, your boss, the company, trusting yourself – this is the biggest power that can bring innovation and create a healthy business move forward!

Sam McNeill Bio

Having recently been voted as a top 5 speaker in Spice Magazine's Hot 100, Song Division's UK/Europe General Manager, Sam McNeill is one of the world's most in demand MC's and Facilitators. At just 31, Sam has hosted over 300 Team Building Workshops, Gala Awards Evenings and Product Launches in The UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and The US. 

The last 2 years have seen Sam recognised both locally and international, winning Future Leader awards with both Meetings & Events Australia and the Professional Convention Management Association (an award he was flown to Boston to receive).

Sam's professionalism and energy has made him a favourite among clients, having already worked with many of the biggest brands on the planet, including Virgin, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Spotify, HP and Fujitsu to name just a small few.


Contact details:

Sam McNeill 

General Manager


UK +44 (0) 77 5234 0730

AUS +61 (0) 484586182

skypename: sammcneill1

Industry Recognition

2016 - Top 5 Speaker/Entertainer - Spice Magazine

2015 - Future Leader Award - Meeting & Events Australia 

2014 - '20 in their Twenties’ Future Leader Award - Professional Convention Management Association