Sound Leadership: BerkleeICE Mentee Helps Companies Grow to Their Own Beat

Sound Leadership, a startup currently in the BerkleeICE Incubator, helps businesses come together with the power of team songwriting.

August 10, 2015

For musicians, expressing challenges in a song comes naturally. In the corporate world however, teams don't have such a natural outlet to work through difficulties. This is a problem Johannes Flecker ’14 has sought to solve. Flecker combines his experience as a management consultant, producer, and singer-songwriter in his startup Sound Leadership—a company dedicated to team and organizational development using the craft of songwriting.

Flecker, a contemporary writing and production major, developed Sound Leadership at the Berklee ICE startup lab and is part of the ICE startup Incubator program, which provides workspace, mentorship and legal advice: “The Startup Lab and the Incubator are an enormous support for Sound Leadership," Flecker says. "I received a lot of great opportunities that made it possible to transform my idea into a real company.” Before attending Berklee, Flecker earned a Ph.D. in marketing, worked for a leading Swiss management consultancy as a university lecturer, for marketing in India, and recently published a book about the influence of music on brand development.

Sound Leadership focuses on songwriting workshops with business teams to express and resolve leadership challenges. The company also offers

storytelling projects for brand development, leadership training based on music, conference keynotes and songwriting & live performance services for company events. 

Flecker sees it as imperative that all solutions are designed for business teams and non-musicians. “Everybody—musician or not—can relate to a song to express ideas," he says. "Songwriting is a highly focused and result-oriented process; it forces us to uncover the heart of a story in an intensity that is difficult to achieve otherwise. Even expressing uncomfortable things is a rewarding experience in songwriting. We enable business teams to immerse in this experience to develop a better working organization."

Sound Leadership recently held a one day songwriting workshop with Fidelity with an overwhelmingly positive response. The Fidelity team are now excited to be heading into the studio to record their song with Flecker in the near future. 

This is just one example of the great progress made so far by the Sound Leadership, picking up projects with entities such as UBS, Bayer, adult education programs, and the American Society for Quality as well as giving workshops at various leadership conferences and marketing events in Europe. The company recently gave a workshop at the ICE Creative Entrepreneurship Summer Camp, about leadership based on orchestration principles, is an official cooperation partner for Switzerland's premier business university and has been selected for the startup spotlight at the South by Southwest V2V conference in Las Vegas.