Can’t believe this just happened. One of our greatest local customers at The Family Place, Sonia, has a brother who just started a new entrepreneurship called Inceptio. Inceptio is a teambuilding company that does workshops with companies to help their employees learn to better communicate, learn how to use each others gifts, how to find areas of both strengths and weaknesses; you get the point. If you can think The Office when Michael takes the staff to the lake or Duck Dynasty when Willie takes all the Duck Commander guys to a team building camp then you get the exact idea. The engineering firm that Pippo, Inceptio’s entrepreneur, got a gig from has over 70 engineers and since they come from all over the world the workplace language is English. That’s why me and two of our other American friends, including our intern Christy, got the call.
So we had a few pre workshop meetings to all get on the same page and as Pippo started describing to us what we will be doing I kept thinking that this is the exact stuff I used to do when I sold books for Southwestern and I have heard of stuff like this being done in the States, but how in the world is this gonna fly here. There is practically no other company other than Inceptio that does this in the entire country. Pippo told me his family doesn’t understand why he is trying this instead of just doing a normal job, but Karim (Pippo’s real name; Pippo is his nick name) wants to start a new destiny for him and his family. This guy is truly inspiring and I mainly wanted to help him do this workshop to see him succeed. Without going into all the details we spent a day and a half at one of the nicest hotels in the country putting over 70 engineers through different simulations to see how they could work together. It was hilarious. We did a fashion show to see how they could be creative and loosen up together, we did mind teasers, and relay races. But the best event was “The Lost Treasure.” The engineers were broken up into 5 teams, given 6 large barrels, 10 long pieces of wood and some thin rope and they had 45 minutes to build a boat that would float while holding 6 people. Then they had to row the boat out into the Mediterranean to gather treasure. It was a highlight for sure.
Probably the most interesting person in the whole company was a Scottish guy who was a cross between Cruela Devil’s godfather, the mentor of the Snow White’s dwarf friend Grumpy, and Scrooge’s twin brother. The guy reminded Christy and me of Stanley from the office, except our “Stanley” was much more crude on the outside, more bitter on the inside and threw the f bomb in my face on several occasions because, of course being on my team, I may have tried to provoke him into getting involved Stevie Brown style. His first line to me was on the bus ride from the company to the hotel. I was conducting an ice breaking memory game, he was in the back paying no attention, but then he told me in the middle of the game, “This game is insulting.” You would be right if you guessed he spent much of the workshop time at the bar.
The entire day in a half, although it felt like 36 hours inside The Twilight Zone, was a huge success. It’s one of those events in your life that you get to the end of and say the infamous phrase of millennials, “That just happened.” The company asked Pippo to do a follow up event, so his business may have just gained the traction needed to be a true success in a land of little opportunity. This engineering firm was actually his first customers desiring to do a workshop outside the office and they want to do it again… Lord, bless Pippo’s business, we plead!!
Oh, and one last detail. Pippo paid a video crew to film the entire time in order to make a promo video. So it will end up being like a NAfrican reality show. You can’t make this stuff up. We will get the promo video to our readers in due time 🙂
Crazy crazy. Here are a few pics: