I’ve thought so much about Greater IBM’s Global Holiday Party at Second Life. It wasn’t just an ordinary party by any means and its rippling influence continues to live on in the hearts
and minds of those who experienced it. We’ve been talking about it…
The setting was nothing less than a winter wonderland that reflected the hundreds — perhaps even thousands of fingerprints; mind-boggling brilliance and innovation; mounds of thoughtfulness and care … and of course, IBM execution second-to-none. The party was also a testament for how far we’ve come as a Greater IBM community in being able to share such experiences across cultures and the world.
We seemed friendlier. More of us, found a way to be there in avatar or on the phone.
We were bolder. It wasn’t so scary to say hello or volunteer to take a picture of a group.
We’re getting polished at VIRTUAL. We saw a whole new level of virtual spirit.
We were more connected. You could feel the JOY we felt to see so many friends honored.
Passing the Test of Time and Technology
All my thinking affirmed again a trait of IBM’s that is forever burned into my consciousness: We
are all well-taught about the power that comes from saying THANKS! After I left IBM, I realized many times that this is not an attribute of every company. Certainly, not today. It is something special.
Fast forward nearly two decades…and the Greater IBM’s Global Holiday Party at Second Life was another shining example in a totally different virtual dimension. The party was not only a celebration, but our Greater IBM leadership and the whole Greater IBM team invested, significantly, in making this event A BIG THANK YOU to our growing community from the moment we arrived. Beyond all I’ve mentioned already, there was a treasure hunt with gifts, holiday drinks, huge chocolate chip cookies, and a turkey with all the trimmings.
We all gathered for a “recognition and award” ceremony, complete with custom-made “Greater IBM medallions” for each award recipient — with plenty of time for clapping, jumping up and down, and dancing for JOY over the acknowledgment of the global winners in categories like…Greater IBM Relaters, Greater IBM Community Builders, Greater IBM Evangelists, Spirit of Greater IBM Awards.
Each presentation was so thoughtful and specific to the person, helping us all remember so many contributions that have made it possible for us to be together as a Greater IBM Community across time, difference, and distance. I admit it, I was so deeply touched to be honored in such a personalized way as one of the “Spirit of Greater IBM” award recipients. I couldn’t believe it. I won’t forget it — especially, imagining that technology was able to teleport me to a place where I got all choked up looking at desktop in San Francisco. :-)
Essential Ingredients of GRATITUDE
In the book, Thanks! by Robert Emmons, he points out two stages of gratitude that can easily be applied to the Great IBM Global Holiday Party at Second Life and all our contributions as we work to put our differences to work to help create a better world than we know today.
- acknowledging the goodness in what has been achieved, and
- recognizing the source of this goodness has come from the talents of many.
Emmons also helps us helps us understand what the essential components are to expressing gratitude in a meaningful way, using the French expression “je suis reconnaissant,” looking closely at the translation in three parts: “(1) ‘I recognize’ (intellectually), (2) ‘I acknowledge’ (willingly), and (3) ‘I appreciate’ (emotionally). Only when all three come together is gratitude complete.”
On December 18, 2008 at the Greater IBM at Second Life, all three essential components of GRATITUDE came together. It was complete!
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Founder, President & CEO
Global Dialogue Center and
Leadership Solutions Cos.
author, Putting Our Differences to Work
IBMer 1970 – 1991 L.A.; Anchorage; Seattle; San Francisco