Imagine a piece of the jigsaw puzzle in isolation and removed from rest of the set. If it had a voice, it would probably raise some familiar questions, “Why do I exist? Look at my odd shape. What purpose can this random shape serve? And don’t get me started with the colors. How would I make this world a better place with all these arbitrary shades of mine?”
However smart or intelligent that single piece be, it is almost near to impossible for it to find a purpose in it’s own solitude. It is only when it joins hands with rest of the pieces, the picture falls in place and so does its purpose. How often have we questioned our own purpose and our legacy likewise?
It is but evident that the pursuit of finding one’s mission in life mandates removal of the “me”, “myself”, and “I” from the search.
Only then can one give the undivided attention to their calling. The “purpose” then no longer is a fact-finding mission. It is simply a by-product of the experience — the experience of truly bonding with your habitat, be it family, work, or community, the experience of being yourself without being judged, and the experience of contributing passionately without any fear of failure. About five years ago, a small team of such oddballs in my organization started a journey to build a habitat like this in the city of Bengaluru.
The idea was to do what it takes to help our clients reimagine their future in the digital world. Like with a real-world jigsaw puzzle, the path to success was not a straight-line.
It meant bringing people together from diverse career paths under the same roof — from practitioners who understood the human psychology of interacting with a computer screen to engineers who built the best-in-breed mobile apps. What followed in the successive years was a collective journey to establish an identity of who we are, how we work, and what we aspire to be.
When everything around us was changing — the market trends, the client needs, the tools and the technology, and our own talent as we grew many fold — what remained constant was the search for an underlying culture that would lay the foundation for the seasons to come. We have clapped to celebrate each other’s odd shapes and learnt from each other’s trades. We continue to balance the need to stay humble but at the same time push the limit of what’s possible. We eliminate any sources of fear in our teams and have embraced failures in the right spirit.
We have tirelessly chased the holy grail of open culture to let the best idea win at workplace, irrespective of the hierarchy behind.
We have learnt some lessons the hard way and we have also reinforced some of our closely held notions during this time. We are far from perfect, we may not have built the prettiest picture out there and by no means we have cracked the entire jigsaw puzzle yet. In fact, we are just getting started.
What we have is a habitat that provides an opportunity for everyone in it to define their purpose, no matter what shape or size it comes in.
We will continue to share our stories that have shaped this journey as well as discuss the challenges we face today in evolving our very own #NammaStudio.
(Namma in the local language of Kannada in Bengaluru means “our”)
Related articles in this series:
Designing An Authentic Work Culture — Inspirations From 2,500 Year Old Texts (Part 1: Un-define)
Designing An Authentic Work Culture — Inspirations From 2,500 Year Old Texts (Part 2: Discover)
Designing An Authentic Work Culture — Inspirations From 2,500 Year Old Texts (Part 3: Drive)