Written by Gautam Prakash from Reap Benefit. Originally posted here.
The Glific team sent an email out inviting anyone interested to join them and the ColoredCow team at Tehri, Uttarakhand for a week long sprint. In the words of Donald Lobo, it had 2 goals – give the developers a break, while allowing them to just converse and see if anything meaningful emerges.
Culture is Omnipresent
From making us feel at home, to teaching us how to make coffee to make dashboards or celebrate every moment, the team showed me what excellence is. No effort was spared to make us experience excellence, from all members of their team. So it felt like excellence was the culture
Collaboration over Deep Dives
This is from a mapping session. We can see 5 organisations participating in understanding how to make map based dashboards better. Not only was the conversation on tech, but on data analysis and approach, making it a comprehensive conversation, of value to everyone who attended. Such deep dives happened everyday. I learnt that time for conversations is invaluable to collaborate, and develop multiple perspectives.
Pause. Relax. Talk
Food was brilliant. It was excellent. It allowed us to connect to one another. A colleague from South India gave a flavour of South Indian food. The cook, Prakashji and his team gave us an experience of pahadi dishes. The team got ghee, pickle and more from home and made it a delicious visit.
I realised the power of how to build communities. One way is by excellent food brought together from many homes.
One forgets to celebrate and be grateful. Not one night did we not celebrate something. Wonderful way to bring people together at the end of a long and tough day!
Great work Environs
Night or day, the scenery around us was breath taking. I have never taken so many walks. Neither have I been so awestruck by such diversity in beauty of nature.
Great work environs is a great way to beat stress daily 😉
Regular treks allowed each of to connect on various things – from lack of fitness, to a myriad range of topics we spoke of on the many treks we took.
Story telling was a beautiful way to connect to one’s journey, and to them. This gave people a chance to be authentic and vulnerable. No better way to build a ‘we’ feeling!
What did I learn?
One simple conversation between Lobo and the ColoredCow team allowed for a set of organisations to come together for this sprint. This is the power of an idea. Given so many great experiences, learning, growth, collaboration were inevitable. I got a chance to learn a range of skills – from coffee making, to writing better code.
I got to experience the simplicity of building a community. While it did feel easy, its a testimony to the efforts of the ColoredCow Team and Glific Team behind the scenes to plan everything. But for a change, with so many of their team just including us, the visitors in their daily routines, it was so easy to keep us engaged and awestruck.
If this is something we could replicate, I can assure anyone that great communities can be born, and deep, meaningful impact will result in many spheres of day to day life across the country and maybe world.
It was also a takeaway for me on how to build teams and organisations. Everyone was an ambassador for the org, using their own ways of championing what I took as the one value everyone and the hosts (ColoredCow & Glific) exhibited – Excellence as a way of life.