Government Gurus: Remembering the ‘Why’ in What We Do

This post was originally published on Government Gurus blog.


At a recent off-site outside of Washington, the NetApp team found a different way to help people in need. Tucked away in the mountains at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va, the NetApp U.S. Public Sector team worked with Odyssey Teams, Inc. a leader in charity based philanthropic teambuilding events, to build 141 prosthetic hands for amputees, whose injuries resulted mostly from landmines or political violence in developing countries.


As the activity began, a video about a young boy who lost his arm by electrocution while he was flying his kite played across the big screen. This video presented a challenge, and NetApp stepped up to build hands for the tens of thousands of people who do not have access to prosthetics. At each table in the room of over 400 NetApp employees was an unlabeled Build-A-Hand kit. But the most important element was not included in the kit—teamwork.


As an added twist, each employee was challenged to complete the activity with a koozie on their dominant hand. Not only did losing full mobility of the hand foster empathy, it also revealed the willingness of each individual to help others to complete the prosthetic hands in the allotted time.


Bill John, President and CEO of Odyssey Teams, presented and led the activity. The goal of which was to focus on developing communication, leadership, commitment, and ultimately, service. The activity not only improved the lives of the recipients of the prosthetic hands - it was also transformative for the participating NetApp employees.


This activity reminded us about what is important to us—as individuals and as a company - and it truly highlighted the camaraderie of the NetApp U.S. Public Sector team.



Mark Weber

President, NetApp U.S. Public Sector



Find pictures of the event here