It’s Tuesday 9th May 2017 and five of us are sitting in a hotel lobby in Athens putting together this blog. Why are we here? Well, we are celebrating 10 years of Cornerstone OnDemand in EMEA and all the EMEA teams have flown to Greece for three days of workshops, meetings, team building – and of course, fun!
The five of us are a mixed bunch, three Spaniards, one Australian and one from Wales, each from a different team but connected through our own little circle which was conceived way back in February at the Learning Technologies conference. John Stepper was speaking about Working Out Loud - small peer support groups in which you build relationships related to a goal, leading to a more collaborative, innovative culture – and we decided that it would be great to pilot one at Cornerstone. After all, we are all about collaboration, innovation and learning. The circle is about making connections, networking and extending our reach, so blogging about our anniversary event is the perfect opportunity for us to do all three!
It was really exciting to see many Cornerstone teams coming together in one place for the first time today. There is a real sense of community as we all connect as part of a larger family.
This theme was continued as we moved into the first activity of the week; a scavenger hunt around Athens! Each team – randomly assigned- was given an iPad and had to race round this ancient capital answering trivia questions, completing challenges and occasionally stopping for a reality check – ‘Wow – look – it’s the Acropolis’! What a fantastic way to not only kickoff our anniversary event but to really get a sense of where we were, as opposed to just sticking to a generic hotel where, let’s face it, you could be anywhere in the world.
The anniversary of 10 years in EMEA is about looking at how a few people grew the team into what it is today with 350 employees across 15 countries. This was startlingly apparent as we traversed this ancient capital and couldn’t turn a corner without bumping into another team in blue anniversary t-shirts taking selfies or trying to dance like Zorba the Greek! As we interacted with locals asking for various items on our scavenger list or enlisting impromptu photographers, we were always asked ‘Where are you from?’ – the answer always sounded more like a line-up from the Eurovision Song Contest!
As the sun went down and the newly formed teams bonded over dinner in a traditional taverna, the feeling of belonging to something bigger, of being connected, of excitement about the future was evident - in 15 languages! We really need to make that 16 and learn some Greek!
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