One MarkLogic tradition that I borrowed from Business Objects is the kickoff internal video contest. You create a contest where any group or person can submit a short video on any topic they’d like … and then see what happens. As an employee, I like these contests because the videos are typically quite funny. As CEO, I like them because they reveal organizational culture and pathology.
While at Mark Logic I’ve yet to find much pathology, at Business Objects — since we were both bigger and had a higher level of traditional conflict (e.g., field vs. corporate, USA vs. France, sales vs. engineering) — the submissions often provided a clear window into key problems afflicting the corporate soul. So I always look at these the videos through two lenses: an employee one and a managerial one.
Once in a while you get an entry that is truly outstanding: one that is funny, well produced (e.g., made by someone who actually studied film), and revealing of culture. Such is the following entry which features Norm Walsh (who in real life, despite XML guru status, is as low ego and nice a guy as you’re likely to meet — he had to be cajoled into doing this) as an XML rockstar. It was made by our media consulting organization and produced/directed by Paxton Hare. It’s worth watching multiple times because there is a lot of great detail.
If you like Paxton’s work, he’s made a few films over the years and you can get more information here.