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I got back from a road trip to a box waiting for me at home Saturday.
My first thought was “Oh he diiiiid!”
Joel Forman, one of the General Managers of Slalom Consulting sister brand Slalom Build had taken me up on it! Seven months prior, after my whole Experience Design team from DC had successfully transferred to his organization, I had joked with him: “How do I get one of the cool t-shirts? I think that would be a simple token of one’s appreciation!” In the context of another conversation I’d more recently had with him, I had reminded him, half-jokingly and knowing damn well how hard any-kind-of-cool-swag is to come by around Slalom these days.
And there it was.
With a nice note. I love notes.
Simple and so right: it’s a partnership. Thanks for showing me it means as much to you Joel, as it does to me.
How I Earned the T-Shirt
Kristine had brought it up on a Thursday at 2PM: “Build is growing and they need more Experience Designers“. It wasn’t a secret we had been struggling to connect our team of 10 designers to impactful work in the DC market. Build leadership had been looking for under-utilized markets to staff their needs from within. I didn’t hesitate for one second and shared my enthusiasm for the idea. This tribe of brilliant creative minds needed to be given this chance, if for no other reason than for the opportunity to explore their options and be active participants in the curation of their career. For the love of work and life!
I remember vividly I was on vacation the week we had the first team meeting to discuss it. I had dialed in from the beach house in the Outer Banks of North Carolina where I spend the week of Labor Day every year. I had violated my rule to not work on vacation for this special occasion: it was important I be there to show my support for each individual. Do the right thing.
When I returned from my holidays the following Monday, the first order of business was to check in on their decision. To my complete delight, they had all decided to make the move to Build. They had chosen to stay together in this adventure. For the love of work and life!
I had brought the t-shirt up at the close of the transaction, reacting to my recent sightings of Build Canada t-shirt on a handful of video calls…
How I Wore It
Sure, at the time, the thought had crossed my mind that I potentially had proven myself out of a job. It was late 2020, I imagined we would eventually get back to the business of performance management after an intense period of protecting our people and well, my numbers sucked.
Herein lies the irony of this whole story: all these months later, I am on a completely different team too (Slalom Emerge, apparently we are also working on a t-shirt!), serving a super cool automotive account, with DC and I get to work with Build every.single.day.
So I wore my new t-shirt on Monday. I heard “Where did you get that shirt?” on several occasions and I recounted the story in less than 100 words each time, proudly showcasing that I believe in partnership.
This is One Slalom.