Is your company doing the Harlem Shake?

Companies put a great deal of focus on goals and strategies and often less effort goes into the tactics and guidance for how work actually gets done. If you’ve seen the viral video for the Harlem Shake, it illustrates what most companies look like under their corporate covers.

Doing the Harlem Shake

Enjoy this short video (you may want some sound):


Doing your own thing

What makes the video so entertaining is that everyone is doing his or her own thing. Water cooler guy?…is that guy punching a giraffe? Some have great moves while others look like dancing isn’t really their ‘thing’.  Just like the company logo, the beat is the only thing in common across the room full of people.

If the analogy works, its because companies haven’t figured out how to standardize the ‘simple moves’ that allow work to move efficiently from person from person and department to department. Like the crazy dancers, people are allowed to pick and choose how to do their work in the way that suits them but isn’t necessarily good for interaction and collaboration.

Now this doesn’t mean that everything must be prescribed like Gangnam Style (sorry, just couldn’t help it…it worked). There needs to be room for creativity but inside of a structure that allows the team to excel in a coordinated way. In business, we call it process management and it makes all of the difference in the world.



Some fun parodies of the Harlem Shake video:


Tags: , ,

Categories: BPM, Continuous Improvement

Author:Tom Molyneux

A business process strategist with a focus on real-time event management.

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11 Comments on “Is your company doing the Harlem Shake?”

  1. bobster
    February 10, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    Harlem Shake office edition – 1st one in Germany:

  2. February 14, 2013 at 12:15 am #

    As fun as some of those are, sadly almost none of those videos use the ACTUAL Harlem Shake in the Harlem Shake video!

    Proud to say that we nailed it at Freak’n Genius:

    • February 14, 2013 at 6:51 am #

      Yes…one of the most remarkable thinks about the whole viral craze around the Harlem Shake is the lack of the Harlem Shake. Good job!

  3. February 14, 2013 at 2:08 am #

    Check out what we did…

  4. Katie T - Skidmore College
    February 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Jumptap’s version is GREAT!

  5. Bonnier Parado
    February 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    Funniest agency harlem shake yet! (With actual Harlem Shake) by Frankly Web.

  6. February 16, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    The Best Hospitality School !!!


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  2. Making sure this post will NOT go viral | Successful Workplace - August 10, 2013

    […] I’ve been wracking my brains for a while, trying to think of something super interesting and catchy that would go viral. The more I think about it, the fewer good ideas come into my head. People get writer’s block all of the time, but that isn’t my problem right now…I could write a 100-page software manual if I had to…I just can’t come up with a really big idea. Something fascinating that would get shared and retweeted endlessly…a verbal Harlem Shake. […]

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