“I did it my way” — Of Awards and a High Octane Opening

Abhishek Paul
3 min readJul 28, 2022

I did what I had to do
I saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much, much more
I did it, I did it my way

-Frank Sinatra, “I did it my way”

One of the things that I love (and take advantage of if I’m being honest) working at Kissflow is to do things the way I would enjoy — not be straightjacketed by typical organizational protocol. The speed from idea to execution is something that I have not experienced elsewhere and is also one of the reasons we see so many different ways of doing anything — we aim for predictability in standard but not in the content.

While planning for our biggest annual awards yet (“ALTIUS ’22”) and the first one in 2 1/2 years given the pandemic, the expectations were high (so was the scale — we had almost doubled in size as an org).

As we put the agenda together, one thing kept nagging me about the opening — it wasn’t setting the tone. We expected people to be walking in slowly, finding their seats, saying hi to colleagues and an MC all this while asking people to settle down and get started. It felt more like an unruly class getting started for a boring lecture rather than the beginning of an exciting celebration. We are lucky to have a gifted band and knowing they had anyway practiced for the event, we felt we could leverage them — nothing pumps people up like music and that too, a live performance.

The idea quickly snowballed — we felt it needed to be an instrumental piece that starts slow (a la James Bond or MI theme) and then builds into a high tempo piece and as it ends, we have the MCs walking in to welcome the crowd (rather than being the headmaster asking them to assemble).

But something else was missing, a crowd of 300+ get distracted easily — we realized the reason was not the number though, but that we could see everyone — so why not kill the lights?? We had a wonderful event management team with whom we planned the sequence in which the hall lights would be dimmed, have the light focussed on the band alone, bringing everyone’s attention there (infact we wanted individual spotlights on each instrument as it started, maybe next time).

With a help of a well coordinated team, we were able to pull it off — you can see it for yourself here. This opening 2 min sequence was one of the things that I still am happy about — the fact that most folks wouldn’t recall this nor know the planning behind it doesn’t really matter — it might even make it more special (like a private joke).

The space has always been and continues to be there — but taking the initiative to not just be aware of the problem, come up with an idea, but also ensure that it is executed with the highest standards is what makes the difference. Working with an org that provides this platform and colleagues who are willing to push themselves to deliver a high quality experience is the key. This evening I was able to avenge all the boring awards ceremonies I have endured and sometimes perpetrated in my career. This is high octane opening is my sacrificial offering.

Until next time ……..