As Season Three gets underway for the
reality show The Voice, an announcement just hit the airwaves that two of the four
judges will not return for Season Four. The announcement raised issues of
teamwork and collaboration with applications to the workplace, but a little
about the show first.
If you haven’t followed this TV show,
here’s the quick rundown: Four internationally-known recording artists serve as
judges and listen to aspiring artists sing. But what makes this show stand out from other talent shows and
worthy of attention is that the judges listen to the singers for 90-seconds
with their BACKS TO THE SINGERS. If the judges like what they hear, they hit a
buzzer and turn around and face the singer for the duration of the song.
If only one judge turns around, he or she gets to add the singer to his or her
team. But if more than one judge turns around, there is an entertaining discussion with pitches
presented by the judges. You see, when more than one judge turns
around, the singer gets to choose whose team to join. Once teams are complete,
then the show takes a different direction and the judges face the artists for
the remainder of the season.
There are several reasons why this show
has garnered so much attention and high ratings. The show’s season lasts only
three-to-four months, which is quick when compared to a typical television
season that runs from September to May. So advertisers get onboard the
advertising train early. To the average viewer, the most prominent advertisers
are sponsors, so most of the commercials and location signage feature Sprint,
KIA, Starbucks, and Universal.
Also, Season Two premiered following last
February’s Super Bowl. With the eyes of the world on the most famous single
sporting event, high ratings were guaranteed.
Since the judges possess talent in
different music genres, this musical mixture provides something for every fan –
whether someone likes rock, pop, country, rap, jazz, soul, or gospel. When
aspiring artists perform, they know that someone will be able to appreciate
their type of music.
But the most compelling aspect of the
show is that singers are not judged on their appearance, gender, ethnicity, religious
clothing, or any physical quirks. They are judged solely on their voice – the
range, tone, and strength. Since everyone wishes he or she could be judged
solely by work product as opposed to gender, religion, ethnicity, etc., this
aspect of the show resonates and draws viewers in.
Now, back to the change in judges for
Season Four of THE VOICE planned for early 2013:
- How will the new judges fit in?
- How long will it take to develop
camaraderie with the two existing judges?
- Will the new judges favor singers who
reflect their music genres?
- Will one of the new judges try to take over as the main talker or leader?
- How will the judges collaborate when all four perform together on stage?
Changing teams in the workplace is never
an easy task. The employees who remain can become resentful about the change
and never develop a positive outlook. Others may be grateful that
poor-performing team members have been replaced. But the key for a successful
team redesign is open communication. Make sure that all employees understand
the reasons for the change, identify each individual team member’s
responsibilities, and reiterate the team’s goals.
As Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a
beginning. Keep together is progress. Working together is success.”