A lot of businesses are starting to explore their creative side. Expressions of art have begun to creep into the culture of many companies. In boardrooms and at seminars across America the stage is set for performing artists like corporate poet Gordy Boudreau.
“I write poems for whatever organization will invite me to do that,” Boudreau said. “And I use their raw materials the specifics of their culture to craft these very intimate specific poems that entertain and hopefully instruct a bit.”
Boudreau is one of several former street performers who are showing senior executives how to have fun in the world of business. Lead by Carr Hagerman, the group known as OnTend Creative Partners is developing new strategies to raise the chuckle quotient among their clients’ employees and customers.
“We worked as consultants for Hampton Inn. It was the first time I had ever done such work,” Boudreau said.” And early on when we were in sort of the planning phases we were out at a bar with our contact a woman named Gina Valente and I had played a poet at this renaissance festival. Carr said to Gina, you should hear one of his poems that he’s written. So I recited a poem and Gina’s eye lit up and she said “Oh my Gosh! Could you write an ode to Hampton and present it at these 19 cities? That we were going to tour with them. Do I did. And beyond any anticipation that I had, it was a huge hit people and they wanted copies of it. They wanted it filmed which they did. And then Hampton came to me ask me to write more poems.”
The tradition of commercial poetry goes back long before the day of Shakespeare. And as companies try to define their corporate culture in different ways Boudreau says that poetry offers a unique alternate to business as usual.
“I think really at the very bottom of it all it’s a departure from powerpoint presentations,” he said. “And nothing against that, but I think people are a little tired of seeing the same graphs and charts.”
Gordy Boudreau and his fellow OnTend performers were to keynote speakers at the Outdoor Industry Association breakfast during Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009 in Salt Lake City Utah. In an amazing poem called the Ballad of Mount Gitchigumi, Boudreau summed up the culture and business of outdoor recreation.