I posted my first personal notice to Attenzi’s social network:
“Vincenzo’s will have the new season’s #asparagus in by the weekend. Any fellow asparagus fans fancy dinner there Saturday? Pleasure, not business.”
Yet I had hesitated for at least two minutes before clicking ‘post’. It felt right – we’re all just people right? – and yet weird – who’s going to want to be seen to hang out with the CEO voluntarily on a Saturday evening? Would they be seen by colleagues to be sucking up? What if they felt they had to? What if no-one responded?!
Temporary panic over, and the table for two became a table for four.
Tom (HR) loves his steamed, unadorned but for a drizzle of olive oil. Mary (Procurement) grows her own, although hers wouldn’t be ready for another week and a half – and a week and a half later I found a lovely bundle of spears on my desk. And Gurdev (Quality Control) is a vegan foodie with an interest in the chemistry of cooking. (Apparently, boiling water pops cells on the surface of asparagus making perfectly cooked asparagus a brighter green. But over-boiling causes the cells to shrink and release an acid, making for a much less appetizing grey.) I got him and Vincenzo talking. Vincenzo took Gurdev into his kitchen between dinner and dessert to explain an idea he had to make it easier to clean a cooker.
Despite being more social than professional, I learned a bit more about what Attenzi means to the people that make the company what it is.
I asked Gurdev how we deal with customer ideas. He didn’t think we had a formal process.