A stroll through the Broadleaf office would tell you everything you need to know. You'd find Broadleaf-green countertops in the kitchen, over-sized desk bells, a basketball goal, mini soccer balls, pictures from past company events on the walls, a dry-erase board full of drawings of requested office supplies (if you want it, you gotta draw it), and you'd likely notice the game console sitting front and center in the main conference room. As a matter of fact, I am currently staring at a dino wearing socks. No really, meet LittleFoot. He's my office mate's companion.

Fun at Broadleaf started innocently enough. We moved into our new office space, so we held a themed office warming party. Then we had a birthday party. Then another birthday party… then came the branded beer ping-pong balls… then the holiday party where rock stars (normally disguised as biz dev members and developers) provided the sound track for the event… then came the oversized desk bells, beer-thirty, #Slack (#Random and Pug-Bombs), Farkle, charity supply drives, bocce ball, boat parties, a sock battle…. it all happened so fast. When the sumo suits came out, it was time to take inventory. What was the impact of all of this time spent on fun?

What I realized was all of this play was work in disguise. We were team building. Over the past year, we took every opportunity to celebrate the individuals on our team, and we made sure it didn't go unnoticed when the company as a whole reached new milestones. There is an undeniable camaraderie that has formed across the departments. Cross-team communication is stronger than ever, conversations about product and marketing initiatives are free flowing, and we have a deeper understanding of one-another. As a unit we are more efficient. All of this fun has helped push not only the team, but also the product to new heights. There are now things - idiosyncrasies - that are unique to Broadleaf. Without even realizing it we had started to shape our company culture. Broadleaf is comprised of brilliant, innovative individuals and I feel fortunate to work along side this team. I'm proud of how far we've come, and I'm even happier that we're able to say we take the time to invest in fun - whether it's with themed birthdays, awards in the form karate trophies, and/or sometimes even disheveling coworkers' desks just for the heck of it. But in all seriousness, Broadleaf has a way of recognizing the unique facets of each person as a contributor, and fosters an environment dependent on teamwork and innovation.

Regardless of the project you're working on, the client call you're on, or if you're suffering the consequences of a recent Farkle loss one thing remains true - you're never in it alone.