Culture is king at Zumapalooza 2014

I was somewhat apprehensive to take 48-hours out of my life to fly from Florida to Vegas to attend Zumapalooza.  It’s only 48-hours right but with our focus on driving revenue and getting new products out the door, 48-hours is a big chunk of time for me.  But I was compelled to go because aside from seeing the Zumasys Cloud data center and meeting the team that we’ve entrusted our hosted business initiative too, I also wanted to see what this “Zumasys Culture” was all about.  Paul Giobbi their CEO and his team sure talk a lot about it and I was curious as to how it drives business initiatives.

They put each of the 400+ attendees up at The Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino, one of the newest properties on the strip.  The resort was absolutely top notch, drink prices on the other hand were ridiculous.  The view from my room was pretty outstanding.

We spent the first day at the Switch InNEVation center, a public / private economic diversification project that bolsters entrepreneurship in Las Vegas.  We lobbed questions at the Zumasys guys about intrusion protection, “Ransomware” and disaster recovery.

InNEVation Center

Paul’s keynote along with presentations by key members of his team were given that afternoon.  In his presentation he talked about the importance of culture in a company and how it drives business decisions.  All talk?  Well for starters, Zumasys donates 1% of all revenues (not profits) to charities and the employees decide which non-profits get those funds.  In 2012, $200,000 was donated to these charities.

The next morning I heard author Shawn Achor talk about “Happiness”.  My initial reaction was “Really…we are going to sit through an hour of ra ra feel good speak?”  I was pleasantly surprised.  Aside from being the best selling author of The Happiness Advantage and enjoying over 7M views on his TED Talk, Shawn provided really concrete advice that he has researched and tested with many Fortune 500 companies on ways that you can truly be happier and more positive without the use of illegal substances.

Here are 5 habit’s that Shawn recommends we do for 21-days to increase our level of happiness.  If you only do one of these, each day for 21-days, Shawn claims that you will see tangible benefits in your life:

3 Gratitudes: Write down 3 new things you are grateful for each day. (Rewires brain for greater optimism)

Journaling:  For 2 minutes, describe a meaningful experience from over the past 24 hours (Doubles the meaning in your life)

Fun Fifteen: Add 15 minutes of fun, active cardio (Creates a cascade of success)

Meditation: Invest 2 minutes to train your brain to just watch your breath. (Undoes negative effects of multitasking)

Conscious Act of Kindness: 2 minute email, thanking one person in your social support network. (Increases greatest predictor of happiness)

Ok…so this post took longer than 2-minutes to write, but I feel happier.