Our company retreat was a melting pot of cultural backgrounds and the bonding experience was immeasurable and truly unique.
Ya Mon! EveryTING Cris! I PITY THE FOOL WHO MAKES ME WRITE BLOGS! Okay, so I may have gotten a little out of hand there and side tracked as to what exactly it is I’m writing about…
A few months ago while working on a prospect, our now new client CenterLight, I received an email from HR announcing that the entire company was going on a planned company outing to the B-E-A-U-TIFUL Dominican Republic. Needless to say, three passport problems and one resort later we ended up in “SUNNY” Jamaica! (And by “sunny” I really mean rainy; it literally rained five days straight)
Now now, it wasn’t all bad; this was the first time our East Coast team was going to be able to meet the faces associated with the emails of our team out on the West Coast(← What I hear in my head when someone mentions West Coast.) And it was love at first sight. I’m pretty sure everyone was relieved to meet each other because there was this shared feeling of hostility between the NY and LA offices that needed to be resolved. While it wasn’t as grim as the Tupac and Biggie battles, the fact remained—we didn’t bond with ‘the others’ on a personal level, and we didn’t sympathize with them either since they were about 3,000 miles away.This trip completely changed that! Most of you reading this don’t know our team but we’re a rowdy, energetic & youthful bunch of about 28 people—all from different backgrounds with over 30 languages under our belt. When you hear a Polish guy and a Korean girl walk into a bar, you ask yourself, “Is this another bad joke?” Surprisingly, it isn’t. We looked like a private delegation from the U.N. (except much younger and with no translators).
The time wasn’t entirely passed guzzling down alcohol and confessing our new-found love for each other; we were still able to dedicate a couple hours of the day for some “team building” activities, which felt all too similar to couples therapy. The first assignment we tackled was a think-outside-the-box type of task where we figured out how to sell a product we all agreed would be difficult to sell: Women’s Douches. After forty-five minutes of trying to illustrate and describe what the product does and how it works to all of the men in the company, it was time to get down to ‘business’. This exercise was reminiscent of that funny joke you use to break the ice on an awkward first date, but after all was said and done, I learned that EVERYONE has got some “freak” to them. The ideas were nothing short of priceless; Summers Eve, watch out for a proposal in 2012.
With three offices, the essence and life changes as you step into each one. We have Findr Interactive—the creative agency that feels like you’re back in a college dorm with music blasting, party going, and that overall hip feel. Then we have Gravity Media NY, the Vito Corleone of media buying and placing where we pitch for the business, we execute the campaign… FUGGEDABOUTIT. And finally, we have Gravity Media LA, our own curious case of Benjamin Button—we look young but have over fifteen years of experience under our belts.
Oh, that’s right… the trip! An interesting fact everyone came to realize was that we all shared a common denominator. Each of us was solely afraid of one thing and one thing only: failing—the word that constantly tries to stand between the needs of our clients and us. Fortunately, we’ve been successful in evading any formal meetings with this “Failing” and we plan on keeping this track record for good. Actually, this reminds of me of one of my favorite quotes by Benjamin Franklin (that guy on the hundred dollar bill with a mullet), “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Now you’re probably asking yourself, “Who are these cocky, presumptuous, overachievers?” Well good Sir/Ma’am, our work is our pride and joy; we do not release anything we don’t like. We aim for the best, we perceive ourselves as trendsetters, and we never tell our clients, “JA-MAICAN ME CRAZY!”
Our trip was long awaited. Months of hard work and dedication had finally paid off and it can safely be said the only thing we left behind in Jamaica was miscommunication. It’s relieving to see how what at one point in time haunted us is now nothing more than a thing of the past. Finally, since everyone loves a good ending to a story, I’ll leave you with this quote, “However things may seem, no evil thing is success and no good thing is failure.”