A few weeks ago, I was at dinner with a number of fellow Bincers and we were talking about Sprinkles. Now, I normally wouldn’t capitalize the word “sprinkles”, but at Binc it really is a proper noun. Sprinkles are shout-outs. They are celebrations. They are our way of calling out when we see each other displaying our company values.
At this particular dinner, a newer Bincer asked why we called them Sprinkles. Where did that term come from? A few old-timers looked at each other, dug around our memory banks for a bit, and then told this story …
Several years ago, we went on a “Mission to Mars” where a cross-section of Bincers came together to better define our company values. We also started doing regular Town Hall meetings because we had grown beyond the small company where communication and keeping everyone in the loop was easy. In an attempt to keep our new values top of mind, and recognize Bincers across the company for their good work when visibility across project was low, we dedicated a part of every Town Hall meeting to sharing when we saw the Binc values in action.
The agenda item evolved a bit each month. From “Bincer Recognition” to “Living by the Binc Values” and back around to “Team Recognition”. After a few months, this section had picked up so much steam that we could have spent the entire meeting just sharing the good news. We also noticed how high the energy of the meeting was during this section and how low it would fall when talking about boring things like metrics.
One month we decided to shake things up a bit and said we would spread the stories throughout the meeting. We kicked off the meeting like normal, shared a few stories, and then we cut people off! We promised to come back around for a few more after the next agenda item, and then a few more after the agenda item after that. We wanted to keep coming back for more and pick the energy back up between agenda items.
Well … old habits die hard and all, so we went a tad longer than planned on the next agenda item … and then ran right into the following agenda item to make up time … which led to a very polite riot. The team demanded more time to share stories of how their teammates had lived by the values for the previous month! At one point in this very polite riot, someone shouted “I thought we were going to sprinkle these throughout the meeting! We need more sprinkles!” Now, I could definitely be misremembering this next part, you know how time can change your memories, but there might just have been a “Sprinkles! Sprinkles! Sprinkles!” chant going around.
Even if a full-blown chant didn’t happen, the name Sprinkles stuck. Sprinkles became our name for these little shout-outs of recognition. To this day, we encourage Bincers to Sprinkle each other with appreciation and recognition during our company meetings, on Slack, and really whenever the mood strikes.
And because gifs make everything better, we often included a gif in the Town Hall slide deck to signal the Sprinkles section of the agenda. To wrap up this post, here is a quick sampling of some of the best: