This past week we celebrated IT By Design’s 20th anniversary in our Chandigarh, India, office. We had 350 of our team members join us for a huge celebration. There were gowns, men in tuxes, wonderful food, and an abundance of dessert – it was great!
One of the highlights of the evening was a “mashup” we created for our team. Originally, the idea of the mashup was to create a song that told the ITBD story and to have team members participate in different parts of our journey. Now there were a couple of challenges in creating this mashup:
- Finding appropriate songs for parts of our journey
- Getting team members to participate (It’s funny, they run when you say dance 😊)
- Let’s not even talk about how long it took to actually get the song / video put together
- And practicing… Painful, yes, but well worth it
If you want to see the video that we produced, feel free to check out the LINK HERE. Now, it was 20 minutes, and believe me, when we were practicing, it felt like it was 60. But when we got onto the stage, the energy, passion, and hard work all came together. This article, however, isn’t about creating just a video; it’s about the camaraderie and energy that’s created by bringing together team members for some fun — in this case a small performance.
Usually, we do a talent show. Individuals and sometimes a few friends will get together to exhibit a talent. But one thing we have learned over the last 20 years is that one is too small a number to achieve greatness. This mashup was more than just a recap of our story. It brought together people who have contributed to the journey and made them feel that they are a part of something bigger. I believe many companies sometimes forget the value of bringing people together. It doesn’t always have to be for work, it can also be for fun.
If you’ve checked out ITBD’s website, you know we love a good music video. And that’s not just because I love music and dancing (which I do, by the way). It’s more about how music and dancing have the ability to bring people of all communities together to unite in a celebration. If I was to tell you the number of times people have told us during meetings or interviews how much they love our music videos, how they can just see all the energy and the passion of our team, it has been a win-win for us ever since we began with our first video.
The intent of the video was less about the journey Sunny and I had to get to 20 years and more about the people who helped make the journey possible. It’s why there were 17 songs (yes, I said 17) and all of the songs had at least two performers, or more. You see, greatness cannot be achieved without the help of a team, and you will see all the cheering and support that the remaining team members had for those participating.
Now, I will be honest, before I got to India, it wasn’t easy getting everyone to participate in such a large endeavor. I had about 20 people sign up to participate. However, once I got there, and we started doing practices, by the end there were 45 participants in our mashup. Why did I want more people? It was like herding cattle at times, but I knew that success is achieved with a team of people, and the more who participated, the greater the impact on the community.
Some may have said, “Weren’t you disappointed that only 20 people signed up when you started?” No, because I knew that if you have a vision and mission to do something, don’t wait for the ideal time to take action. Move when you can move. If you start moving in the direction of that vision, it’s a matter of timing, doors will open, and in this instance, team members will join.
It was also great that all the senior leaders joined because influence goes from the top down, not from the bottom up. Seeing all their leaders be vulnerable, make mistakes, and just enjoying themselves (starting with Sunny and myself) helped make others comfortable with what they were getting into as well.
We didn’t just make another music video, we brought together our community to be part of something bigger. It created a connection, solidified a bond, and inspired others to remember the value of our TEAM, where Together Everyone Accomplishes More. I share these learnings with you today because, as leaders, we need to understand that every action we take has an impact on our community. We learned:
- Greatness cannot be achieved without the help of a team
- Success is achieved with a team of people, and not just one
- If you have a mission to do something, don’t wait for the ideal time to take action, instead move when you can
- Influence goes from the top down, not from the bottom up
- Building strong communities requires good leadership, yes, but also a community that understands the value of teamwork, where Together Everyone Accomplishes More.
Creating a culture that understands and values this is key to building any organization. As many of us continue to work towards talent challenges, remember, there is value in bringing people together for a little bit of fun. Creating a culture that inspires people to be involved, where memories can be made and cherished. So, if you’re a leader, think about your next music video. Got two left feet? Doesn’t matter. The point is to have fun.
Need some ideas? Check out ITBD’s website. We love inspiring others. The point is to make sure that we bring people together, lead by example, and create an inclusive culture that appreciates and values others.
For more content like this, be sure to follow ITBD on LinkedIn and YouTube, check out our on-demand learning platform, Build IT University, and be sure to Register for Build IT LIVE, our 3-day education focused conference, September 9-11 in Orlando, FL!