If we’ve worked together in the past, you likely would have seen a physical bell prominently displayed on our boardroom table, proudly showcased on an elevated base for added effect. You may have even been encouraged by one of us to give it a good ding. If we’ve collaborated lately, you may have seen a few bell emojis pop up in our shared Slack channels. It’s not uncommon to encounter several references to bells and dings when you work with us. No, we are not aspiring bellhops nor do we want to keep you waiting. In fact, the reason we keep our metallic friend at our fingertips is for an entirely unconventional purpose. We know it sounds weird, but hear us out.
Many moons ago, our team was working on a large project with a particularly ambitious timeline. As much as we often welcome a little stress to help trigger action and get things done, it’s not always fun and games. With a looming launch date quickly approaching, we were under the gun and it’s safe to say we were all feeling the pressure. With so much left to do, how could we motivate each other to keep grinding and have fun doing it? How could we make the completion of tedious tasks feel special? How could we celebrate the individual contributions of each of our colleagues towards the big launch? We needed something quick and easy to get people up, out of their seats and celebrating the small stuff. Sometimes, it doesn’t take much.
At the time, we were located next to a print and stationery store. Our Creative Director decided to walk over in search of a little something special, and came out with a bell. You know, the kind that patrons typically ring for service as they wait aimlessly in a lobby and wonder if anyone is actually working there. Well, we flipped convention on its head and made it a celebration maker—a glorified party starter.
We explained the purpose of the bell. “When you finish your task, get up from your desk, walk over and ding the bell. And don’t just ding it modestly, ding it like you mean it!” At first, the team wasn’t sure what to make of this new bell, but with every task completed, the dings became more boisterous and the entire team became more cheerful. These collective moments of joy energized us and got us through an otherwise challenging and stressful time. The project launched without a hitch, the client and the team rejoiced, and the bell remained within reach.
We had now felt the power of the ding. It’s a small gesture that amplifies and reverberates success to the whole team and beyond. We began encouraging each other to ding the big stuff, ding the small stuff, and ding it often.
The philosophy of the ding stuck and became a permanent fixture in our manifesto:
Ding the Bell. Literally.
Celebrate milestones in your work and in life. Don’t be shy, give the office bell a ding.
When we shifted to working remotely in 2020, every one of our team members received a bell for their home office. They act as a reminder to put a ding out into the universe and you better believe we’re dinging on Google Meet.
So why a bell? Now you know. When we collaborate next, we invite you to join in and ding it with feeling, literally or figuratively.