Forget about work. (For fifteen minutes.)

by Michaela Monahan

Photo by cogdogblog (Flickr)

You don't need a rocket science degree to know that positive bonding between colleagues begets happier and therefore more productive workers.  Sometimes, when you're in the throes of a big campaign or even just the daily grind at your nonprofit, it's not so easy to carve out intentional time for it. But reserving a small amount of time for fun (or nerdy, or cerebral) interaction with each other can be surprisingly valuable--not just for happiness and productivity, but for your brand as well.

Every month, my three podmates and I get together for a 15-minute Music Book Club. Music Book Club, you ask? Well, it's a VERY innovative microbreak/bookclub/show-and-tell fusion model, in which we each present a song or two within a selected theme (example: "Sad-sounding songs that are actually happy"), discuss, analyze, argue about Billy Joel, and discover the meaning of life.

Okay, maybe it sounds a little silly, but making time to goof off or--if you're a bit more serious than my podmates--exercise your brain on something interesting but not entirely work-related can really enhance your work culture and enrich your brand.

Music Book Club, as unrelated to nonprofit communications as it may be, helps reinforce for my podmates and me that our team is made up of fun, smart, and creative people who value the unique perspectives each of us brings to the table. Hopefully, that comes across when you interact with any of us Ducks, and that's an expression of our brand.

Your organizational culture is a component of your brand. It emerges in any of your interactions with the people who help advance your organization's mission, including donors, program participants, and media. Does your organization have any practices to help give your brain a rest from the daily grind? If so, how does it relate to or reinforce your personality or brand? Let us know in the comments!

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