The piece below was inspired by Foyin Olajide-Bello’s story. I had the pleasure of interviewing Foyin in May 2020, and later, her story was highlighted by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the Inspire 2020 conference.

If she did not do what she did
Would anyone have noticed?

Her job was to administer things
She did that well
To solve problems for her department
She did that well
To deploy technology
To make it work
She did that well

She did her job
Checked all the boxes
Supported her staff
Her management
She did it well

But through it all
And above it all
She did a bit more
And it makes me wonder

If she did not do what she did
Would anyone have noticed?

No one asked her
To care about lost time
Time lost in spreadsheets
Lost in copying and pasting
The same things
Over and over and over again

No one asked her
To take the time
To learn something new
To make an app, to make a flow
To reduce what took hours and days
Spent doing things
“The way they were always done”

To reduce it down to minutes to seconds
To care about progress
To care about creating something new
To take a risk

No one asked her
When a colleague asked to build an app
To turn around and say No
No, I won’t do that, you do it!

She sat with her colleague
And nudged her gently
If I can do it, so can you
And nudged and nudged
Her colleague resisted and resisted
Then took the first step
And the next
Asked questions
Put boxes on a screen
Connected with some logic

And look!
Look, I made an app
I built this for my team
For myself
For those who sit on the sideline
And watch and wonder

If she can do it, can I do that too?
For those that might need a nudge
Here. Go. She built it for them too.

The story continued
From one maker to the next maker
To an academy to a community
She brought together five in a small group
They brought their questions
They brought their spirit

The power of a few
Grew to five, ten, fifty, five hundred
One human at a time
Learning, practicing, together
Bringing others along

Back to our question
If she had not done what she did
Would anyone have noticed?

We pay the price of work not done
Dreams not realized
Possibilities extinguished
Sparks smothered

Why do some grab the torch
Against all odds
While others sit and watch and admire
And sit and hope
And sit and wait for the rain to stop
For the clouds to clear
For the sunny shiny path
To be created by another

What is the nudge I need
To make my own
To create for myself
And then for another
And another

I sometimes wonder
If she did not do what she did
Would anyone know?
Would anyone care?

Poetry and whatever else comes to mind