Harlem Shake (office style) - What were you thinking?!?
In case you missed it, Call-Em-All spent some time yesterday producing a Harlem Shake video. As the leader of this organization, I thought it might be interesting to share my thought process with regard to the video (embedded below.).
When the Harlem Shake idea was first proposed, my concern was for the professional image of Call-Em-All. A quick glance at our Facebook page will confirm that we like to goof off at the office, but is the Harlem Shake a bit too over the top? What would our clients think? Would someone do something offensive - whether intentional or not? Will the rest of the team even want to participate? Would anyone who didn't participate feel ostracized (of course!)?
After weighing these questions and realizing that the team was embracing the idea, I decided that the video has absolutely no effect on our ability to provide easy-to-use automated calling and texting services for our clients. Other than the hour it took to make the video, it also would have no effect on our ability to provide prompt and professional customer service. So, what's the harm in acting like a bunch of crazed fools for an hour or two? We can all safely assume that 3 months from now we'll be a bit embarrassed and roll our eyes at a passing Internet fad - but who cares? We choose fun.
The excitement in the office was palpable all day long. I felt obliged to announce that "this is an optional activity", and I'm proud to say that the entire team soundly rejected the thought of not participating. Our culture is strong here! As we got started, my only concern was that we'd produce a mediocre video. Nothing is worse than a half-assed attempt at an Internet meme.
The exercise itself was a blast, and we love the outcome. Even if it was terrible and nobody watched it, I would still view it as a wild success. We had more fun than 5 happy hours combined and it cost the company far less. We worked together as a team on something other than a new group messaging feature. It was refreshing. We discovered new talents. We even impressed our cleaning crew. It was much better than Cats.
We got this note from our cleaning crew last night after filming our harlem shake video. twitpic.com/c40z6o
— Call-Em-All (@CallEmAll) February 15, 2013
I understand if some of our clients or prospects scoff at our behavior. However, as a result of this absurd video, our team is closer and our culture is stronger. Ultimately, this results in better service and a better product. I suspect we've actually created quite the recruiting tool, too.
Brad Herrmann is the founder and president of Call-Em-All, an automated calling and group texting company that provides solutions for small and medium sized businesses, large corporations, membership organizations, community groups, and individuals. Since 2005, Call-Em-All has grown to send more than 5 million group calls and texts each month. Brad is a graduate of Texas A&M University.