Meetings suck. Mondays suck. Meetings on Mondays?
However, one of my favorite traditions here at redpepper just happens to be our weekly, Monday meetings, better known as Alignment. Think of every tired, stereotypical element of the average work meeting, flip it 180 degrees, add that unique redpepper flavor (it’s killing me not to call it spice), and you’ve got Alignment. More than just a weekly recap of each other’s work, Alignments are a chance to share insights, practice vulnerability, make connections, and inspire growth in one other.
We always start off with 5&5, a rapid-fire rundown of five successes from last week and five things to look forward to this week. There’s a certain pep rally element to starting this way that’s perfect for driving organizational momentum. Every week I find myself thinking “wow, I’m surrounded by amazing folks” followed by “let’s crush this week.” And as you get going every week, you start to see the narrative of the work take shape. From landing a new client to sustaining that ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship, our 5&5’s serve as a constant reminder just how strong this whole team is.
We always have one or two outstanding “redbits,” our version of TED talks, where one of the countless inspirational figures we get to work with shares a deep-dive on a passion topic of theirs. From learning about the purpose and importance of laughter, to a riveting look at the numerous benefits of daily meditation practice, redbits have been my glimpse into areas of work and life that I would otherwise have been blind to. I keep a running list of ideas, theories, subjects, and books I want to check out, and I’d say lately 90% of the content on there comes from these redbits. Great for growth; terrible for my Netflix queue.
Each Alignment we also have a couple “Hey, What’s Up, Hello’s”, our time for sharing backgrounds with each other. It’s nice to learn more about your coworkers and round out their personality with some information about where they’re from and what they like. I think that’s one of the things that makes this team so special. Rather than just taking for granted the notion that we should all learn a little bit about each other, we push for it here. We normalize it. We make it an expected part of life at redpepper, and we’re all the better for it.
But more than all that, Alignment’s true power comes from, as the name might suggest, aligning all of our various teams, interests, and objectives with intent, consistency, and energy. It’s so easy to go through the motions day-to-day, barely acknowledging each other with a mumbled “hi-howareyou-i’mgood” while we rush to the next team meeting. Siloed work has its merits (perhaps an unpopular opinion best discussed another time), but Alignment offers us the chance to become a team greater than the sum of its parts. Learning about each other’s work and lives reminds us that we’re all in it together -- that you’re not just one person driving away at your individual work, but you’re an important part of the redpepper ecosystem, playing the role you’re meant to play day-in and day-out.
When a team you’ve barely seen all week shares the awesome fruits of their labor, you can’t help but smile, clap, and cheer. When someone gets up to share their redbit about what gets them stoked to get up in the morning, you can’t help but listen, nod, and take notes. And when, as Alignment draws to a close, you’re again reminded that you get to be part of an amazing, cross-functional team of experts each pulling more than their weight and driving success for the organization as a whole, you can’t help but enthusiastically add your voice to the group as we unanimously cheer our motto closing each and every Alignment: “Hustle and Grow!”
Alex Borowski, rpLab Intern, Nashville, TN.