The Pythian community gives back: movember and the holiday food drive

Posted in: Pythian Life

They say you can’t create an org culture, you can only guide it. As a growing IT services company with 400+ employees spread across 35+ countries, one of our biggest opportunities is not technological but cultural. An inherent challenge we face is steering towards a culture that embraces and celebrates our similarities, amongst the many great differences that make us so dynamic. I regularly contemplate how we can build a community that Lucy the DBA in Ottawa can contribute to as easily as Raj the IT support guy in New Zealand. How do we authentically engage a diverse, dispersed workforce in a meaningful way? How can we create a sense of community and belonging when we’re on different continents? The truth is, there’s no silver bullet.

With the emergence of telepresence & VR/AR, enabling a rich connection between remote teams is becoming less and less daunting. But tech alone cannot bridge the gap between a culture that’s starving for more integration and one that’s thriving in a state of deep integration. In my experience, the cornerstone of building an engaged culture is to give our people shared goals and enable them to achieve their mission organically as a team.

In our industry, change is rapid and disruption is a way of life. This can present challenges and opportunities for an org’s culture. At Pythian, we accept the opportunity and even in our world of constant change, we’ve made it a tradition to unite our global team around challenges we can tackle together.

One such challenge is Movember, the worldwide campaign targeting men’s health crises like testicular cancer and suicide prevention.  For 6 years in a row, Pythian Mo Bros & Mo Sistas have united from their corners of the world in solidarity against these vicious diseases. This year alone, our global team almost tripled our goal and raised more than $1350. Those who wanted to spread the word got out and got active, covering nearly 690 km in the process, posting all the while on social media to raise awareness. Every year, we seize the opportunity that Movember presents to band together around a common cause and show our people that we proudly support  & give back to our communities.

Another initiative we run annually out of Ottawa HQ is our holiday season food drive to support those in need in our community. For the past few years, the Ottawa team has been put into groups to compete against each other to collect the most food & supplies, with the prize for the winning team being a catered lunch. Imbued with the holiday spirit, this year we collected more than 130 pounds (that’s nearly 60 kilos!) of food and supplies, and decided to donate the cost of the catered lunch for the winning team back to the Ottawa Food Bank. Through the grassroots generosity of our people, the Pythian family will help to put food on the table and supplies in the pantry for dozens of families throughout the holiday season and into the new year.

As we look back on the year that was and look forward to 2018, we want to celebrate these successes and thank those who gave their time, effort and hard-earned money to support our communities. Our hope and belief is that these triumphs are a catalyst to strengthen the connective tissue between our people, to deepen integration across our diverse teams, and to show that we are united together under one banner, marching to the beat of the same drum.



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