You should adopt my best friend ELMO

I met ELMO while working for Philips. We immediately liked each other, even though we didn’t meet that often. Our dates were usually during problem solving training sessions and kaizen events. I was not the only who liked him. One of our senior leaders coming from Danaher noted that ELMO was the best part of her working experience in Philips. This is how much ELMO is loved! 

Hang on a minute? Am I going too fast? Do you know what I am talking about? Did you have a chance to meet ELMO?

ELMO – a fluffy red creature, usually well known by kids, has a way deeper meaning. Are you still with me?

E = Enough

L = Let’s

M = Move

O = On! 

Fluffy red creature making sure people shut up when needed.
Fluffy red creature making sure people shut up when needed.

ELMO is my best friend, he always supports me by staying with me. I bring him everywhere and whenever someone talks too much or not to the point, I raise the fluffy creature. What happens after? Deadly silence! It’s usually only for 3 seconds and then we simply move on to the next point. It works incredibly well to silence talkative people, especially senior leaders when they are all together.

Over the time ELMO got even more powerful. Many of our Maersk leaders and staff started to associate him with a bigger change or transformation journey we were driving. ELMO became a standard element of our communication videos which made him Rotterdam famous. ELMO enjoyed the fame but sometimes it was too much. For example, there were few cases when he was kidnapped and I need to pay a release fee to get him free. 

My former boss caught in the act of kidnapping ELMO

Now ELMO is a well-respected Maersk family member, but it wasn’t like that from the beginning. I remember my first workshop where I introduced him to the group. The workshop host, thankfully he is currently not with Maersk anymore, didn’t adopt ELMO at all. He told him, in front of everyone, that in Maersk they use red cards instead. OMG, so boring!! ELMO however didn’t give up and continued its personal branding journey until he became the crucial participant of each workshop and event, even outside the Rotterdam office. Yes, he did travel around!

What is more important is that over the two years of ELMO’s stay, he has improved discipline among leaders. Everyone is way sharper while talking. I guess they are either slightly scared of him or he earned true respect.

I believe every business organisation should adopt ELMO in their own environment. We spend so much time at our work and having some fun along the way is healthy. Looking for your own Elmo? Click here to snag one up from ecommerce giant Amazon.

Feel free to share your stories how ELMO is being adopted in your organisation. Or perhaps you use another creature? Would love to read your experiences in the comments below!

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