Over the year and the projects that filled them, I’ve had hundreds of colleagues. Now, I have thousands. The first good thing about that is that compared to the lot of them, I hardly have to do anything. The second good thing is that whenever I do do something, I can count on the support of a moderately sized army. With this army, I’ve had quite a week.
Over the weekend, we presented our fleet of electric and hydrogen machinery at the World Harbour Days in Rotterdam. (The asphalt spreader is the world’s first.) When I was younger, Rotterdam was the world’s largest port, and it is still a formidable site. On our A location, all day, we were surrounded by helicopters, dredgers, tugs, and thousands of kids of all ages.
This would have been fun if we had presented a rusted toaster and a half-eaten apple. Instead, with a team from all throughout the company, I could invite kids to climb a stunning machine and tell them all I know about asphalt. (All I know about asphalt, I learned from my colleagues and their unlimited enthusiasm and time to tell me about asphalt. asphalt rocks.)
Yet the best part was the brief lunch break with half the team. We enjoyed watching tall ships sail by, sloops competing, and the skyline; everyone knew so much about everything. And then somebody made a joke, and it was back to explaining to kids how asphalt works.
Then on Tuesday — Sustainable Tuesday — we tried to get a few of our colleagues to use renewable coffee cups instead of the standard single-use ones. The idea had already spread quite extensively throughout the organization, and people had gone out of their way to make it succeed beforehand. So on Tuesday, it was a hit, and all the successes were due to the efforts of others.
The thing about having thousands of colleagues is that if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go mega super turbo fast, go together.
The one downside of having thousands of colleagues is that my LinkedIn feed has morphed into an unrelenting narrative in green and orange.
Thursday, finally, I took a colleague’s place at a business event at the beach. I had moved in a pack so much that I almost felt naked, being the only colleague at the event. Luckily, it took me about 0.2 seconds to get to know my peers from a few competitors. And Merlijn was the closing act for the event, and he’s still a colleague in the business of making the world a better place.
What I mean to say is that there is an I in organization. There are two.
Have a wonderful weekend!