Genius Day Part 2: The Battle Has Been Fought

Jack Simpson

Head of Marketing and Communications

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The Genius Day presentations went off with a bang today when employees were treated to a delightful array of ideas and solutions, the very best of which were awarded prizes.

This morning at approximately 9.30am, all members of the Web Applications office gathered in the large downstairs office – a little bit of a squeeze, given our numbers, but a spacious and airy environment nonetheless. Our mission? Simply to convey our Genii. And, with over 30 presentations to enjoy, we got started.

Presentations do not faze a lot of people at Web Applications UK – many employees revel in addressing a crowd and they are able to speak with flair and passion. The rest of us are not so lucky. Amongst the small crowd, I sat anxiously awaiting my own time to shine (as surely the worst part of any presentation for those prone to anxiety is the wait for it to begin). But of all the presentations I personally have been involved in, throughout school, work and university, none were quite as lovely as this one was. There was nothing fussy, nerve-racking or overly-formal about the occasion and there was an air of camaraderie amongst staff as they listened to their colleagues’ ideas and shared their own.

Information and innovation laced with comedy and banter is the key to any good presentation, therefore they were all a delight to watch. The ideas were mind-bogglingly intelligent – Lauren, for example, had come up with ‘Hearing-Eyes’: a way for drivers to communicate with deaf passengers in the car. Saulo had devised an iPhone app to make life at work easier, while Cheryl and Matt came up with a system that would manage car park congestion. Each innovation could be raved about at length, the standard was extremely high.

And so, with the 31st and final presentation completed, CEO Craig Dean took to the floor. The first item on Craig’s list was to praise his Office of Genii for their fantastic ideas and high-quality presentations – many were viable solutions to existing complications and since Craig has a particular fondness of hard work and originality, he was delighted with all of the presentations he’d seen this morning.

Craig took time to remind us of how he believes Genius Day benefits the company. For starters, the chance to give presentations promotes team-work and self-confidence. It also offers employees the opportunity to have their work evaluated openly and honestly by a lot more people than it usually would be – this input provides valuable constructive feedback, which could be the key to developing a good idea. Lastly, and importantly, Craig is positive that the discoveries made throughout the Genius Day process will affect the way employees work in future, particularly that they may come forward to make suggestions should they have any innovative ideas that could benefit their company. Craig openly encourages new ideas from employees and Genius Day is a great way of alerting employees to these possibilities.

And then it was on to the part we’d all been waiting for: the results (and prizes). They were awarded as follows:

1st Prize: Fahim Mukhtar and John Sampson

2nd Prize: Helen Burnett (this is me – unbelievably, no bribery or corruption was involved)

3rd Prize: Shaun Austin and Pete Bettison

Honourable mentions were duly given to Lauren Miller, Robert Kostrzewa, John Palowski, Tomasz Dobrowolski and Kate Jones, all of whom were excellent contenders.

Further information about what was designed, created and innovated by the ‘Web Applications office: The Office of the Genii’ will be available in my next blog, which will look into the ideas in a greater depth.