A couple of years ago, we decided to carve time out of a busy week to make breakfast together in celebration of one of our team member’s birthday. This act has grown into something much more than recognition of a life milestone. Now, it’s an essential aspect of our organization’s culture.
Many organizations face challenges with lack of focus, indecision, and lost momentum. Whether these challenges are rooted in a need for leadership or differences in perspective, their impact can be far-reaching. We here at Bulb Digital are not immune to these challenges, and likely, you’ve experienced some of the same issues.
One way that we choose to combat this issue is by being intentional about building meaningful relationships. Here, we believe that every person has strengths, natural talent, and innate value. Because of that, we all have a responsibility to each other to respect the differences that make up our unique workplace. The relationships we’ve cultivated among our team are valued as highly as any accomplishment we’ve had over the last several years.
A couple of years ago, we decided to carve time out of a busy week to make breakfast together in celebration of one of our team member’s birthday. This act has grown into something much more than recognition of a life milestone. Now, it’s an essential aspect of our organization’s culture. The act of coming together over a shared meal has become a way for us to recharge, reconnect, and cultivate a sense of community.
Making breakfast at Bulb Digital can be messy. Since starting this tradition, we’ve become more efficient at the whole process. From setting up a makeshift short order kitchen all the way to clean up, everyone on the team pitches in and works together to produce truly exceptional food.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve created some pretty amazing meals together. We’ve made it all, from monster breakfast sandwiches, waffles with all the toppings, smoked salmon and cream cheese crepes, to biscuits and gravy. Yup, that’s right – we baked from-scratch biscuits in our little kitchenette.
In the heat of the prep and cooking, you’ll find no less than three sizzling electric griddles, a table filled with condiments, legitimately good coffee being poured, and plenty of healthy discussion about the week and coming weekend. It can feel a bit like organized chaos, but every birthday that comes, we are better.
This ritual has become part of the fabric of Bulb Digital, but more importantly, it has helped us facilitate connection. Every time we host one of these gatherings, I learn something new about someone. Knowing each other is an important part of who we are and how we care about each other. When we care, we look for ways to serve each other.
At Bulb Digital, we problem solve for a living. Making sense of complex situations requires energy, concentration, ambition, and deep thought. When we make an effort to focus on things beyond our daily tasks, that’s when the mind, body and spirit can be recharged.
Getting up from the desk, taking a walk, switching context for a few minutes, or playing a game of darts are some of the ways that help us move towards clarity in our work and overcome stuck problems. This same principle applies organizationally as well. I can give countless examples of our team being stuck on a decision or expending energy in an attempt to achieve alignment and clarity, when all we needed to do was take a step back to achieve a new perspective.
Among other things, our team member birthdays create a simplified cadence for allowing us to take the time to switch context, celebrate, connect, and recharge.
Organizationally, we are challenged with moving a group of people in the same direction. Remaining focused on the mission and reducing distraction are key to meeting that challenge to move teams forward.
We work hard at Bulb Digital to find new ways to align our team and get unstuck on the day-to-day. We find that by integrating cultural rituals like a birthday breakfast into our routine, we’re able to create opportunities to build connectivity and trust with one another. These rituals also help remind us of the intrinsic value of each and every team member. By taking a moment to recognize each individual, we’re letting our team know that they are far more than just a cog in the machine.
Core to our mission is serving others well. While that certainly applies to our clients, it also applies to our team. When our team is recharged, we find focus. When we recognize innate value, we listen. When we’re connected, we care. All of these help our team to serve each other and our clients – and we’re at our best when we are serving well.