Last week, Darell Hammond, CEO of KaBOOM! released his much anticipated book: KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. I got my copy on Thursday and had it finished by Friday afternoon.
I first met Darell more than a decade ago when he came to tour the Center for Creative Play. During our talk, he told me that we were going to build a movement that made play the issue that everyone was talking about and that top policy makers would take notice. I said “sign me up,” when I was actually thinking a pipe dream, never going to happen, this guy is a little crazy.
But at that point, I really didn’t know Darell. Today if he told me he was building a playground on the moon, I would just ask when “build day” was scheduled and show up. Darell believes in “audacious dreaming” and then works hard to make the dream into a reality. He proved me wrong about building a play movement, you can’t get much higher in this country than the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative and the NFL’s Play 60 program. Darell would say that these programs are crucial to the movement, but just as vital are the individuals that are working so hard to save play. People like Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids and Mike Lanza of Playborhood.
Over the years, I learned so much from Darell about growing an organization. He shared with me his dashboard and its adaption helped me grow the Center for Creative Play for many years. He was an early adopter of social media and realized its power before just about anyone. I was skeptical at first, but of course I shouldn’t have been. I am pleased to say that I was one of the first dozen people to join KaBOOM! Connection and have been an active member ever since.
Darell has done amazing things over the last 15 years, but as he would be the first to tell you, he did not do them alone. I have enjoyed working with and getting to know Boomers (KaBOOM! employees) that I have had the pleasure to meet. In fact, I’ve created lifelong friendships thanks to KaBOOM! Darell believes so much in his staff he listed every single person that has ever been a Boomer in the back of the book. I was able to determine that I had worked with more than 25 people in different capacities and everyone single one of them was committed to the cause, incredible smart and able to make decisions and move on a dime. Maybe this is because Darell made this his criteria for hiring staff.
If you are interested in organizational growth, social entrepreneurialism, using social media to grow your business or saving play, this book is a must read. Go immediately to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and purchase the book. An added benefit is that all of proceeds for the book go straight back into the Movement to Save Play.
Once you’re done with the book, let us know your favorite chapter/line/excerpt.