Our new financial year starts today, 1st November, as does the implementation of a project that the team has been working on together since the beginning of this year – relating to our values.

Back in February we together agreed a new set of values; to be courageous, to be true and fair to all. That’s not because we’d had enough of being open, honest and fair(!), more that we had realised that these values had become so firmly ingrained in our culture that we were no longer challenged by them.

Having values act as a guide to the business, keeps the team aligned and enables us to make sure that when we recruit someone new that we can attract a great match (both culturally as well as commercially).

The challenge is that everyone perceives values in different ways (my ‘courageous’ could be your ‘taking risks’) and we recognised that we needed something more tangible for our team to subscribe to that brings them to life in a way that we can all relate to.

This is why we spent time together, away from the business, agreeing how people who hold these values, of being courageous, being true and fair to all, express themselves. And once we’d identified this, we could then agree a set of measurements relating to our values that we can use to appraise our progress.

This was an interesting process and it was reassuring to see how much alignment already existed within the team as to what each of our values meant.

The expressions that most resonate with us are to push boundaries; to be aligned with our personal intents; to be open to improving; to manage expectations; to try something new (i.e. do something differently and better); to be open and flexible to changes; to trust ourselves and others; and to value ourselves and others.

And to support us further we agreed on the SK Chase Ten Measurements – which relate to these ‘expressions’ which has inspired the team no end.

It’s vitally important that people who work for SK Chase retain their quirkiness and individuality. Yes, we all share common values but it doesn’t mean that we walk around as clones of each other. So weaved into our measurements are things that relate to us as individuals – personal goals and aspirations.

An example is to undertake a one-off personal (or professional) project which pushes boundaries.

Ben has made a head-start on this one and is already part way through a massive personal challenge that is pushing his physical boundaries to the limit by committing to an intensive 8 week fitness & nutrition course designed by Georges St Pierre, a world champion Mixed Martial Artist, combined with regular taekwondo sessions.

After week 1 was over Ben shared that “7 weeks now feels a lot longer than 8 weeks did before I started!”

And Jan recently reported that she’s currently enjoying another of our measurements – to read a book on personal or professional growth and share learnings – and is half way through ‘Poke the Box’ by Seth Godin which is all about doing things differently.

What’s great about having values is that they inspire others. As soon as we came up with our measurements my mind immediately started thinking about all the amazing things I could do – and how much more motivated I felt knowing that my colleagues were going to do the same.

I’ve taken some time out to consider how I’m going to contribute to this project over the coming 12 month – and it’s really helped me focus on the things that are really important to me – and got me excited about things that I’ve been daunted by in the past. Why is this? I think it’s because I’m going to get the opportunity to share my experiences with my colleagues. That I’m going to publicly announce my intentions – which will inevitably act as an impetus to complete the challenge and finally, that we’re all going to be in this together.

First personal challenge: Learn to speak Italian.

I’ll let you know how I get on 🙂