But once in a great while (never before that I can recall), a firm does something so positive, so remarkable, so worthy of praise, that to not acknowledge it publicly would be to invite karmic retribution to rival the ire of any CMO. And when that firm is my own, the sense of pride I feel is strong enough to empower the breaking of even the most long-standing of taboos.
On Tuesday night, March 18th, the UK organization Music in Offices held the finals of it's biennial Office Choir of the Year competition. OCOTY is the "March Madness" of office choir competitions. Beginning in early February more than 20 office choirs compete in "heats" leading to a semi-final performance in late February and ultimately the finals in mid-March. This year's final four office choirs were from Deloitte, Dunnhumby, BNP Paribas, and Norton Rose Fulbright.
I am extremely proud to report that Norton Rose Fulbright won the 2014 competition! Our choir, and the competition, is based in London and I'm in New York, so sadly my contribution was limited to cheering on friends and colleagues from afar and watching Twitter anxiously for the results. While I am thrilled that NRF won the competition, and I am very proud of my fellow NRF musicians, I am most excited to see professional services organizations, including banks, accountants, marketing, and, most happily, law firms supporting the arts within their organizations. Large corporate donations to professional arts organizations are great, but supporting your fellow employees who want to sing, or play, or create together, is a potentially transformational act. We expect law firms to have talented lawyers, but when employees are encouraged to express their artistic talents it can give your firm a tremendous boost to creativity and morale.
I have written before that The Arts Create Future Geeks, which is my way of saying creative, intelligent, focused, and capable people. Thank you to Music in Offices for surfacing the latent or hidden artistic talents in the corporate world.
And congratulations to the Norton Rose Fulbright 2014 Office Choir of the Year!
(You can hear the NRF Choir at 2:00 & 3:27 in the video. But watch the whole thing, it's only 4 minutes!)