In the beginning of June, we gathered at Elisa for CXPA Finland’s first ever Hack, in association with Aseman Lapset. The association’s mission statement is to support the healthy growth of children and adolescents, and their well-being in the society. The hackathon itself aimed to tackle the everyday challenges of the association from the perspective of CX (Customer Experience) professionals. Volunteering and participating, I had many positive expectations for my personal growth, in addition to the overall outcome of the event itself.
Like any hackathon, there is a clear goal that every formed team should work towards, and each team has to present their group findings and solutions. I went into a team that tackled the topic of employee experiences, and how Aseman Lapset could improve theirs. In this workshop I was given a 2-minute warm up task to build a model of a house with just a few Lego pieces, and to explain how this house represents Aseman Lapset. Just before the warm up, we had been given a short introduction by an Aseman Lapset representative on the everyday works from the perspective of their association.
Then the real challenge began. Specifically, discussing about the characteristics of great employee experiences, and solving the topic which was to find “New ways to boost employee experiences.”
To begin with, I was very nervous because I was in a room with individuals who have already built their professional careers for many years, at well-known and respected organizations. This may have made me a bit cautious with my contributions to group discussions. Our group of 8 had an incredibly diverse set of Lego model presentations and it showed when the timer ran out.
Each participant who joined the workshop/hackathon group had 1 minute to explain their depiction of their model. I got slightly more comfortable because I realised that we are all together and we are here to tackle the same situation at hand. Therefore, it did not matter of which background each individual came from, but to think cohesively and in harmony.
When my turn came, I presented a story of my own experiences with leadership. If I had to describe my model into words, it would be little Lego figures trying to find their way through the blockade of a wall to the land of paradise. In this case, paradise represented knowledge, information, and overall success. Each Lego figure had different forms of guidance, for example, one with Lego figures standing far apart, depicting lack of effective communication.
Following each Lego model explanation, we were given a task to now join all of our presentations together to create one big common model. This model would then go on to be presented to the rest of the hackathon participants, in the form of a 2-minute explanatory video.
I had several ideas of linking my model with two other workshop colleagues, as they made more sense to be together with their similarities. The similarities that the models shared were Lego leaders overlooking all the actions and tasks that have been fallen into the hands of the employees. This then began, what I like to call, the domino effect, because of the good interlinking between models. A surge of momentum was with us and at that moment we were truly working cohesively.
My big takeaway from this group/workshop was that we are all real leaders in our own right. When the group begins to work together in harmony, that’s when the leadership qualities begin to show. During my careful observation, it was clear that the skills of effective communication, goal orientation, and efficient time management was on show.
Therefore, I believe that it is alright to have a full group of people being the “leader” rather than the classic one person in charge. I would also like to emphasise the importance of “victory through harmony”. A simple 3-word quote that I have been living by my whole life: it brings nothing but positivity, if it is truly digested in the world of leaders.