Interview with Charlie Bush, City Manager of Sequim, WA
Nijah Fudge, West Regional Director, Alliance For Innovation
Take a que from the City of Sequim. Putting together a YouTube video "is not a lot of work. Just have fun, be yourselves, go for it, let loose and bring your organization's house down!"
3 April 2017
Nijah: The Alliance loved discovering your recent team video “Hall of Fame” by the Script – what made you do it?
Charlie: We had several inspirations for putting the video together. Certainly seeing videos, like Decatur, Georgia’s “What Innovation Means to Us”, NASA’s “NASA Johnson Style”, and Charlotte County, Florida’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, got our juices flowing about government videos. The City of Issaquah, Washington also has a long standing tradition of producing creative videos for employee appreciation events. During my time there, I enjoyed several of them. All of these inspirations collided into our project.
Nijah: What were the goals of the video?
Charlie: We are a small rural City in a beautiful setting on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, within two hours of Seattle and Tacoma, across the water from Victoria, BC, and adjacent to Olympic National Park.
We wanted to show off our community, our work, our lifestyles, and our culture for people who might want to work here in the future. Like many employers, we are experiencing the “Silver Tsumani” of widespread retirements at all levels of our organization.
We also wanted to light even more of a passion into our organization’s culture, really celebrating it in a joyful way!
We shot our video in 10 days leading up to our annual employee appreciation dinner. We were able to shoot our video with a variety of cameras, from our city’s camera for shooting stills and some videos, to smart phones, to GoPros. At one point we used a bucket truck to get a better angle over the plaza in front of our city hall and even mounted a GoPro on bicycle handlebars for the right angle. Everyone got into it, including our City Council. It all came together with some great editing by our Marketing and Communications Director, Barb Hanna, using off the shelf software.
We picked the song “Hall of Fame”, by the Script, because the message of the song is all about realizing possibility, which is what we are focused on realizing in our employees, our community, and ultimately in the world.
Nijah: I loved everything about the video! Great job! What was the impact of Sequim’s culture?
Charlie: We unveiled this video to our staff, with most of our Council present, at our annual employee appreciation event. It followed a live lip dub performance by three of our City Councilmembers of “We are Family”, by Sister Sledge, which included wigs, studio lighting, costumes, and a fog machine. They brought the house down with their performance and the video premiere brought it down a second time. It was a great evening and employees from all departments were calling for an encore to see their coworkers and themselves again. We’ve since shown it at an All Employee Staff Meeting and it got a similar reception.
Our community is enjoying our video as well, including a Rotary Club viewing that ended in enthusiastic applause and left an audible buzz in the room.
The video further set a tone for us about how we are going to express ourselves and be ourselves at work, while uniting around our vision and values, realizing our possibilities, and serving our community and the world to the best of our abilities.
The video was enough of a success that we will likely produce one of these annually.
For any organization that wants to put one of these together, it is not a lot of work. Just have fun, be yourselves, go for it, let loose, and bring your organization’s house down!
Nijah: Thanks so much Charlie for this interview!
Charlie Bush City Manager360-681-3440 office425-495-1429 cell
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City of Sequim, WA
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