Every Company Should Celebrate Unity Day
I’ve always struggled to see how companies can retain their sense of unity that was once so strong.
The push to become your own boss has become so strong these days. The internet is telling so many employed people to get out — be your own boss — make money — and live life on your own terms. Because those same creators did it themselves and they want to spread that same model.
But, this may not be for everybody.
This has made me scratch my head and wonder how can great organisations be built as unity is vanishing around us. We have shifted into a world where individuality is tireless pushed by media, writers, and the voices. “Become independent” … “Build passive income streams” are all told by the likes of Tim Denning and others all the time.
This constant voice that we see on our devices has made unity and collaboration harder than ever.
But for organisations — growth happens when there is a tight collaboration among the business units. Collaboration makes the impossible projects come true once separate verticals start working together to merge adjacencies for a common goal.
This all starts when organizations start to celebrate unity.
An Attempt to Retain Unity
I saw it in a true spirit once upon a time — on a Great Man’s 60th birthday.
The organization was so diverse he was wished Happy Birthday in over 30 different languages — from a single country. Over 3000 people all wore the same shirt with the grand number 60. All awaiting his entrance in a massive building that housed the corporate headquarters. — A rare sight in a world where people want to choose their own outfit each and every day.
The show began with the unveiling of a one of its kind tower-like structure erected before our eyes in a magnificent lobby. Each leg represented one of the sacred publicly traded companies. The structure felt like it was from a Christopher Nolan film — a contraption that was declaring a stamp of oneness. It was a symbol that would freeze this moment of a 60th birthday in time when all the experiences are forgotten and the celebration becomes a distant memory.
The tower made a statement that the manifestation of a physical structure to celebrate and symbolise unity should be created by every organisation.
We transitioned from monument unveiling to showtime. A 2.5-hour sprint that felt like an amalgamation of a Broadway play and an immersive visual experience that was broadcasted all across the world’s most populous nation. All boiling down to 3 memorable portions.
Portion 1–200 hours of interview footage about the great man was compressed into a 45 min short that showcased hundreds of close family, distant family, early life connections, recent connections, and senior executives, all sharing a unique one-liner about this man.
Portion 2 — The Man’s greatest actions of life was shared through a completely digital sketch film with a 1st person POV narration that didn’t just tell his life story but showed the actions that made him such a lethal risk-taker and decision-maker. In only 8 minutes his life’s journey was captured.
Portion 3 — To contrast the previous parts — portion 3 was all about “Showtime” tracing the group’s journey of exponential growth through a race car. 10 years ago the transition of the large company turning into a massive one really began through the symbol a race car in the format of a video. The same film made 10 years ago was shown again. But, this time there was a part 2. The next part prophesized the old race car would transform to an even faster muscle car which would catapult the company into a behemoth rocket ship building on its growth ship.
The show was packed with celebratory affairs, symbolism, the story of a business, family, and evergreen lessons.
If there is one way that Birthday should be celebrated this takes the cake. A birthday should be about more than just celebrating the birth of a man. But should be about highlighting actionable lessons for all of us — which was so clearly shared with the world.
But, if there is one key takeaway from unity day it is the story of collaboration. Something that is extraordinarily difficult in large organizations where bureaucracy thrives at every turn. This program gained because the teams listed below all came together:
- Niche external architects
- Animated film makers
- Internal video editors
- Technology teams
- All service functions — Safety, Security, HR, and Admin.
More than ever companies are turning into every man for himself. Collaboration like this needs to be commended because it reminds us of the extraordinary feats a united team can accomplish.
Coming back to the theme of unity day. I think that in a world where the push for individualistic spirit slices through all of our minds — events like celebrating a man’s 60th in such style remind us of what can be created once all of us unite to work together toward a single goal.
Unique events such as this one make us remember why we like to work for inspiring organisations. Not just to show off the brand to others but because we believe if we unite under one man’s vision we can achieve the impossible.
Unity Day needs to be etched into an organization’s DNA just like the Ancient Kingdoms once celebrated their Birthdays.