Bringing the business of theatre into the theatre of business.
One of Talent Lab’s co-directors trained as a theatre director. As part of his training and subsequent professional career, he worked on several different productions, from writing and adapting plays and creating ensemble and improvised shows, to directing and producing small-scale tours.
Using this experience, Talent Lab’s approach to business communications focuses on our clients’ audience and uses theatre techniques to deliver productions each participant will remember.
Most of our productions start with a company that has identified a need or ambition but doesn’t know where to start the process of engagement.
Producing employee engagement events that are entertaining and informative
A large PLC was growing its business by acquiring smaller companies in its sector. Through surveys, they realised its new employees were nervous about what the future held for them. They also discovered they had a culture issue with existing subsidiary managements.
Talent Lab was asked to take a look at their initial idea and we recognised a common problem. Their solution was a series and mix of didactic messages rather than creating an inclusive showcase of their new employer’s approach. It looked more like Brecht in tone – all talking to, not engaging with. In effect, it was tell, not show.
Talent Lab produced two pilot events using theatre techniques to script and produce an engaging and interactive format. Their success – endorsed by all participants including the senior management – led to us designing and delivering 800+ events over 18 months. We collected valuable information and data whilst entertaining and informing a diverse group of employees. This investment in time to listen and engage with people at all levels, ensured the ongoing success of its acquisitions, staff retention and talent development.
Designing a learning programme that proved science could be fun and a great career
A telecommunications client had a remit to show schoolchildren that STEM subjects could be exciting and offer great future employment opportunities. We designed a series of school events that used whizzes and bangs to show how the company’s technology – designed and manufactured locally – was driving the growth in digital communications. We then worked with the Maritime Museum to create an exhibit and workbook to showcase how our client’s inventions – aligned to the venue’s remit and the national curriculum (complete with undersea volcanoes) – to thousands of young visitors.
Scripting an online broadcast as part of a management conference was anything but dull
Restrictions on events during the pandemic mean that meetings, exhibitions and conferences have been taken online. Having hosted nearly 100 events online, we know from experience that as a facilitator and host you have to work twice as hard to keep your audience switched on.
Talent Lab was approached to deliver a keynote session for a client’s AGM on the theme ‘the value of conversations’. We decided – at very short notice – to give our audience something back to live – almost. Talent Lab’s relationship with a great venue with hybrid AV facilities enabled us to film our presentation as live and broadcast it the next day.
We can’t reveal too much about this project, but we can say: our video was the most-watched session of the five-day conference, second only to the mandatory Chairman’s address. Our content, supported by a clinic, got high scores and great feedback from participants.
What all the above proves is that communications are the lifeblood of every business and take many forms. As Marshall McLuhan famously said, the medium is the message. And whilst business messages are delivered is changing as broadcast technology, once the expensive preserve of large media corporations, becomes cheaper and available to everyone, the key is your content. I mean, when was the last time you actually read a e-newsletter and forwarded it to one of your own connections?