Generally, I think that having a ‘Values’ system within a business only have meaning if they transcend the daily work related objectives and continue long into life outside of the day job. For example, it’s not as if I play at being considerate and supportive of my colleagues and clients only to then return home and become an intolerant tyrant – or the other way round!! That behaviour just isn’t in support of a balanced or productive mental state! Values, or ‘Principles’ are fundamentals in human behaviour and when recognised and followed with consistency, they can be the difference between success and failure in all of you life! Personally, I’d choose SUCCESS every time.
So what is COLLABORATION, and, as one of our Values, what does it have to do with Outlook?
I asked my team recently to write down their ‘Mission Statement’ – their personal goals for life, the universe and everything (to steal from Douglas Adams!). If you carry out this exercise and embrace this ‘promise to yourself’ by basing your behaviours on it, inside and out of your working environment, then it usually leads to a more productive and happier life. Two pretty fundamental things, wouldn’t you agree? Now apply this exercise to running a business, or specifically in this case – an agency, what would the result be? Efficient productivity + Happy staff = GREAT RESULTS!
So that’s the first step done, what next?
The correct Production/Production capacity ratio breeds greater creativity, increased motivation, improved personal commitment and ultimately an overall higher and sustained quality of product. It’s an easy equation and certainly a no-brainer that it makes sense. Plus it’s simple to embrace and encourage – BUT, you have to work pretty hard at it to make it become a habit. As the late Mr Covey says in his Seven Habits book (a book that’s usually within an arms reach of mine!)
We designed our Values with this quest in mind – how can we improve and maintain a positive P/PC balance. We decided that focusing in on 4 principles of behaviours would be the most natural and self-perpetuating way to go.
For me, COLLABORATION is one of the key values we have that I believe takes an Agency, and their people, from just being GOOD to being GREAT. Working together to achieve shared goals! Sure, it’s not a new idea. I think that the Pyramids are proof of that, (just ignore the fact that they were all slaves and motivated by being whipped, but you get my point!) but definitely something to continue learning from! But It’s sometimes difficult in any creative space to be collaborative – there are egos, subjective viewpoints and the argument for simply what is RIGHT for the client at that point in time. It’s human nature to protect our ideas and look for recognition, but what we try to encourage throughout the whole Creative Group is for individuals to become selfless in their approach – balanced with the confidence to be open minded on taking on-board powerful and insightful feedback.
COLLABORATION is the act that comes from removing any threat of having an ‘idea’ challenged; by opening it up for debate with the understanding that all critical input, with the right intentions, has a positive result. I always follow the rule that if I can’t argue my point better than someone else – then it’s just been improved! COLLABORATION is the key!
No whips here – at least not as part of our work life!