Quote: “It was not the colorful box of caramelized popcorn that enamored consumers; it was the free toy inside. While financially worthless it was emotionally priceless. And, it is a reminder of the clout of simplicity.” - Chip Bell
The question is a great one.
How do we encourage a culture of delight and surprise? The best answer to that question is most likely to come from our own from personal experience. We must ask ourselves and share the best of what we have learned with one another.
So for me, a couple “Prize Inside” the workplace moments that had both immediate and long term positive impact to culture were these
1) One day I walked into work and found the CEO sitting behind the reception desk taking calls and greeting everyone as they came in. At the time there were nearly 450 of us that would pass by him that morning. (All would see him there and be greeted by him)
At first I thought he was just covering for our receptionist who was away for the moment. But I soon found out that he had come in early and called her to take the day off (with pay) because he was aware of something important happening in her life. While he intended to cover for her all day ,he really wasn’t that good at it, so we replaced him by noon. But soon we all knew what he had done…and most importantly why he had done it. The more we got to know our CEO the less surprising it was. On the other hand we became a Cracker Jack Culture because we knew that each day held a potential priceless memory or experience…often created or inspired by this man, we just didn’t know what it would be.
2) Another example would be the day we surprised all of our employees with a Milk and Cookies day. We ordered fresh baked cookies from a great bakery. (had them delivered hot!) and served them with the tiny milk cartons (like the ones from kindergarten) and asked the CEO to deliver them wearing a pink frilly apron. (and not surprisingly, he agreed) It’s been over 15 years since that day and whenever I run into someone from that company it’s still one of the first things that comes up in conversation. It’s delightful.
If you have an example of how to build a Cracker Jack Culture…please share it with us at www.kirkweisler.com/t4d in response to this post.
AND A SUPER THANK YOU to St Vrain Valley Schools for inspiring yet another T4D message.