With all the products that Hewlett-Packard is credited for, we all know they are in the business of empowering people through technology. So when Drum Cafe was asked to welcome and ignite the 500 attendees of their latest conference, you know that I was bent on empowering them with some drumming….to sort of return the favor. I found out that there new internal mission was Empower Expression. It was a perfect match. As I walked into the conference hall, I thought Show time! Let’s express!
Not so fast. Just because words are written on a page and missions are articulated, it doesn’t mean everything falls into place.
What I most want to share about this event was how it began and how it ended. We had a short window of opportunity because the schedule was tight. When our portion of the program began, people were still out of the room, coming in slowly. We were on stage….expressing ourselves…but quickly needed to transfer that over to the HP community. This wasn’t a show to passively experience. This was to be fully interactive. There is a profound difference between watching expression and expressing yourself. This was the big take-away of the program that helped bring home their new mission to empower expression.
If we had asked the audience if they were drummers as they entered the room, most would have said no. More significantly, they would have reserved that kind of musical and personal expression for someone else – someone NOT walking into a corporate conference. I sensed that during the moments they trickled into the room, they didn’t feel like they were about express themselves meaningfully. How could they?
The wisdom HP had in creating such a powerful mission statement lies in the knowledge through empowering expression comes the courage and innovation that makes HP stand tall in the marketplace.
By the time people were seated in their chairs, we had begun the narrative that wove their corporate values into our program. When I hit the first base note, the communication began between all of us. And yes…there was quite a lot of expression going on in the room. By the time our program ended, I knew we had all manifested the mission more deeply that words on a page ever could.
So here’s to empowering expression so that we all feel more seen and heard and alive. And…so that we continue to legacy of empowering others to express themselves.
In Joy & Rhythm,