With Oklahoma's cold winter behind us and that magical handful of spring days steaming off into our memories, we settle into the sterile comfort of our air conditioned offices. We're a technology consulting company. That's what we're supposed to do.

So why would we opt for a 7-day bike ride in what is usually the beginning of the real heat in Oklahoma? I've said it before, but we're different in a lot of ways.

Our Third OK Freewheel Tour

I'm so excited. For the first few years I worked here, Behfar and I would talk about how cool it would be to ride OK Freewheel as a company. At the time, it just felt like talk. There were only a few cyclists here and we were too small for a significant group to disappear during prime business hours, but it was fun to dream.

By early 2015, we'd grown enough that we could gather around 20 riders and still keep the lights on at home. We revisited the idea, took on the challenge and we rode across the State of Oklahoma as a team.

It was amazing. It's the ride. It's the people. It's the bikes. It's the food. It's the whole experience

So this weekend, eighteen of us will embark on the third OK Freewheel tour as a company.

I can't wait.

Back to Why

So, why do we ride OK Freewheel as a company? I could spin a story that would be perfect for the work hard, play hard content theme, one that would play well to the hip/modern/cool company blog machines. There's no doubt perks like this are a recruiting tool, but that's not really the story here.

For me, it simply fits our personality. Our culture. It's exactly the kind of ridiculous thing we'd do.

This may be a bit of a secret, but we have a saying in our Marketing Team that describes this perfectly. I love it. It's used enough that I'd elevate it to our team's mantra or mission statement.

Everything is hard. Nothing is ever easy.

I'll take some credit for the mantra. Not that I came up with it, that's a Jenny Parnell original. I take credit for being part of a culture that pushes us to need such a mantra. In looking at what could be a simple task, then forcing the question:

What would make this better? What would make this GREAT!?
Let's do that or let's do nothing at all.

This drive to do things bigger, different, better, weirder — this is our model. Not only for the Marketing Team, but across the company. This is what makes our clients love us. This is what makes our partners remember us. This is what makes our communities follow us.

Of course, it can also make things difficult. Recruiting is tough, the right people are hard to find. Marketing is tough, the right ideas are hard to develop. Operations is tough, the right plan is never simple.

Everything is hard. Nothing is ever easy.

Official Jenny Parnell Design.

Heard only in times of desperation, as when the the sh*t is hitting the fan, I'd say the ultimate sentiment here is pride. The resulting work is always something to be proud of, regardless of the road to get there.

This model makes for a crazy life at times, but it may be what makes InterWorks one of the few places you'll ever find me.

The way I see it, success is not found in doing it like the others. It's not found in just being a little better. It's only found in standing out. Standing out like a group of sweaty tech consultants riding their bikes in 450 miles of the Oklahoma heat.

It's a fairly easy analogy. #storytelling 

Let's Go Ride

So if you need a team getaway to bond with some of your coworkers for a week, you could do an industry tradeshow, an inspiring conference or even a team building seminar. That all sounds fine — and all things we've done as well.

When we asked the question, then answered according to the typical InterWorks model:

Let's go ride together across the State of Oklahoma in the heat of the summer.

Everything is hard. Nothing is ever easy.

(Sorry Jenny.)
 

More from the Author

Dalton Parsons

Chief Marketing Officer
Posted 09.05.14