Managing Directors Log – Earth date 04 08 2015…..

26 August 2015 / by Ashley Freeman

“We should practice what we preach, right?” I always tell clients we try our hardest to do so. There’s no way we can advise the world’s leading organisations on how to motivate, engage and mobilise their people if our own team of 30 aren’t. I’ve just had an experience at my office with my own team which has reassured me we are doing something right.

I should have noticed my Captain Picard (from the Starship Enterprise, obviously!) figurine had gone missing from the window sill behind me, where he’s sat since I started INVOLVE 19 years ago.  As the values driven, morally enlightened Captain of the flagship of the fleet in the 23rd Century, he has helped inspire me to role model our own values when we’re going through a corporate wormhole.

I’ve just a hit a significant birthday and I knew the office was organising something.  Nothing could have prepared me for the amazing experience that then followed. As I arrived at work, the security guard in our building, jumped out of his chair and saluted me, whilst wearing some kind of hi-tech visor strapped to his head. One of my business partners came running across the reception, dressed fully head to toe as a Starfleet Bridge Officer and started shouting an update on the unfolding situation.

Moments later I was ‘transported’ onto the bridge of a starship, slightly losing my already tenuous grip on reality and instantly reverting to my younger self. Using copious amounts of silver foil, lighting, props, graphics and sound FX on all the monitors and screens, the office had been transformed. The team must have worked for hours overnight. The results were impressive and my grin lasted all week.

Everyone was in full Star Trek costumes, pre-recorded videos came up on a main screen with various team building missions around the office: Build a Lego Enterprise against the clock, translate an urgent Klingon message about the location of Picard,  I was asked to perform a lip sync battle to The Jungle Book, using a banana as a microphone and accompanied by the rest of my male colleagues (clearly from Star Trek Next Generation Season 3, Episode 14, where Picard has to lip sync battle the ape like creatures of Flatulon 4 to save mankind). Despite the evidently serious repercussions of losing the battle, it was extremely memorable.

It went on from there but you get the picture – culminating with an away mission to the local mini golf course where we shifted our celebrations to recognise the team’s efforts in delivering a successful first half of 2015.

These things can be so cheesy but this showed 110% effort from the whole team that made it cheese-free and a great experience. I was blown away, its right up there in my top 3 INVOLVE days ever and there have been some serious contenders! For once I got to be an employee of my own agency and if that’s not engaged, I’m not sure what is. My clients can sleep soundly knowing their agency not only talks the talk, but walks the walk (unless it’s too far away, in which case they use the teleporter).

Starling out.