Companies talk about culture, but few live and breathe it like Inmar, Inc., our new parent company. At Collective Bias, we are pretty proud of our culture of ping-pong tables, dogs roaming the hallways, our can do attitudes, and what we’ve done together. And we’re pretty excited that we’ve maintained it over our rapid growth the past few years.
But when you find yourself acquired, one of the first things you think about is your culture. Thankfully one of the reasons, we chose Inmar was the culture fit and it was never more evidenced than at the recent Inmar Town Hall event. Inmar flew all 150 Collective Bias employees down to their headquarters in Winston-Salem where three days of intense indoctrination began.
“Town Hall” is a pep rally on steroids. Executives from various business lines spoke about the future. The Winmars – Inmar’s in-house band played a rocking set throughout the three-hour event. One executive even donned a cheerleader costume as a result of losing a bet and led us in a rousing cheer, truly underscoring the pep rally aspect. The energy in the room was palpable.
All new companies that Inmar acquires are asked to come to the Town Hall meeting prepared with a theme song and a presentation. In addition, we were asked to perform. Perform? Yes. We were told in the past acquired companies had done skits and various acts and that we need to come up with our own version.
We started out with the objective of performing something all 150 of us could execute. After all, Inmar had flown us all down there from all over the U.S. This meant we had to have an idea that was easily executed by a group that size who would not have time to rehearse and the idea had to illustrate who we were as a company and what we did.
We create content and that served as the starting platform. We had to create an epic piece of content. After series of meetings we landed on playing kazoos and towards the end of our performance, inviting a few “Inmarians” to join us at the front of the stage to symbolize our companies coming together. But Sharon Joyner-Payne, the EVP of Corporate Communications and Great Teams at Inmar, upon hearing the idea, jumped at the idea of having the entire company join us taking the number of kazoo players up to 1,200 and we would capture footage of all 1,200 of us performing to create a memorable, shareable video.
Looping in our PR firm, Shift Communications, to the impending stunt, they quickly escalated this by saying, “Let’s set some Guinness World Records®”. However, the record for the largest group of people playing kazoos was 5000 people. We ended up deciding to play triangles! Seven pages of rules, a monumental list of details and craziness later, we shattered the existing record of 574 musicians when 876 Inmar and Collective Bias employees performed ‘I Heard it Through The Grapevine’ by Marvin Gaye on the triangle for the required five minutes.
Little did we know what it takes to win Guinness World Records® when we started this journey. And we have certainly set the bar high for any future acquisitions.