I spent three days last week in Detroit, Michigan – and when I returned to my office here in Pittsburgh, I had come back with a great deal of energy, excitement, pride and … well, I also came back to a whole lot of work to be done. But I found myself approaching that pile of work with a different perspective. I’m a problem solver – and I’m making a positive impact on the world around me; in this case, one client issue at a time.
I don’t know that this is a typical response to three days in Detroit. I’ll be honest, when I found out that the annual meeting that brought together the management teams of Resources Global Professionals from all over the world was going to be held in Detroit, I was as skeptical as the next gal. This once great American city had been hardest hit by the recent recession and the overall decline of the American automotive industry. Unemployment is staggering. Entire communities are facing extinction because of foreclosures and residents moving elsewhere to find work. Why would a global professional services firm choose this city to host their global gathering?
Well, that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?
The choice of Detroit was not without significance. A once-thriving city is struggling to get back on its feet – and getting creative with how they get there. Every business and individual can draw some parallels with the struggle that Detroit is facing as we all try to learn how to survive in a new economic reality. If we haven’t re-evaluated the way we do business or the way that we live our lives, we’re probably not going to fare so well in the coming years. And by hosting this global event in this city, our company is contributing in a small way to improving that local economy. (For what it is worth, the Detroit Marriot at the Renaissance Center was fantastic! Great facilities and exceptional service.)
So as I sat with my colleagues from around the world to talk about the big issues facing our clients – from new regulatory compliance, new accounting standards, and old financial systems to the need to be more nimble and scalable as situations change – I considered how our policyIQ team can help clients face these big issues.
Stay tuned later this summer for more on how policyIQ can help you to prepare for changes in Lease Accounting Standards in US GAAP or how you might implement a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act / Anti-Bribery Program in policyIQ. We want to help you solve problems with the tools that are already at your fingertips!
And then there were the bicycles.
There was so much valuable information shared with my colleagues, but if you ask any of us what had the most impact, we’re going to tell you that it was bicycles. Our team building event – typically a not-so-eagerly-anticipated event designed to get to know and trust your colleagues while doing something embarrassing and vaguely frightening – was definitely an unforgettable experience. After a series of embarrassing and vaguely frightening ice breakers, we were broken up into groups of 3 – 5 and tasked with building a bicycle.
For a group of people who are used to being the best in their fields, I’m sure that it is some sort of cruel social experiment to put us in front of various metal parts and confusing assembly instructions with a 35 minute time limit. But we prevailed – through teamwork, of course.
100 bicycles assembled and ready, we assumed to be collected and donated to a local organization. What we didn’t expect were the 100 children from the Southeast Michigan Boys and Girls Club who entered the assembly room and were each paired up with one of our groups.
Giving back to your community is always a powerful feeling – both boosting self-esteem and providing humility all at the same time. But to be able to adjust the bike seat to the perfect height for the child who receiving your gift is inspiring.
Check out a short clip from the local Detroit news about the event – and consider making your next corporate event something that you’ll carry with you for a long time.
(And now I’m going to get back to solving problems and chipping away at the pile of work on my desk!)