Head of People
At iCrossing we know that change isn’t always easy. We pride ourselves on specialising on working with clients who are ready to make a step-change and being able to help that make that change as simple as possible. Earlier this year when we decided to re-evaluate our agency values, we knew that our Change. Made Simple ethos would be essential to getting it right.
Having a clear set of authentic values shapes how we behave and defines our culture. Values create shared actionable behaviours that unite us across locations, channels and levels.
They engage and motivate our team around our shared purpose and ways of working. Strong values aid decision making and supports growth. They also help clients and prospective candidates understand who we are and what we stand for.
It was important that our values embodied behaviours that were a true reflection of our agency and our people. To start the process of defining our new values we held a kick- off workshop with representatives from across the agency, from all levels, disciplines and office locations. We split the group into smaller working groups and asked them to consider the following questions:
On our best day....describe what working at iX is like when we are firing on all cylinders, producing incredible work, loving our work etc.
What makes us unique? How do we stand out?
What are our aspirations and ambitions?
The output from this workshop was a copious amount of post-it notes that we sorted and collated into the main themes they fell under. These themes included our strong sense of community, how we share and celebrate our successes together, our flexible and adaptable approach, how people focused we are, our openness and transparency, how proud we are of our expertise and that we are always striving to achieve the very best for our people and clients. This workshop was such a wonderful collaborative experience, and everyone ended the day feeling really energised - a great example of how we collaborate.
We ruled out behaviours such as trust, care, honest, integrity, passion and innovation as we don’t consider these to be values, but behaviours that should be a given in any organisation. The agency leadership landed with six robust values that were a good reflection of the feedback and input we received, but honestly, not very memorable. We wanted to it keep it clear, concise and most of all simple! So, we spent some serious brainstorming time together and realised the six values could be distilled into three and after all three is the magic number…
Ambitious: We inspire excellence in each other, continually raising the bar to achieve the very best for our people and clients.
Brave: We are not afraid to challenge assumptions and push boundaries. We’re open, transparent and accountable in everything we do.
Collaborative: We're in this together. We recognise and celebrate our collective power and expertise to produce industry leading work and a culture we're proud of.
One thing we agreed when we started this process is that we didn’t want to spend time and energy creating new values for our agency for them to be plastered up on a wall somewhere, just for them to become part of the furniture that no one really notices or can remember when asked what they are.
I’ve worked in organisations before where new values have suddenly been announced with great fanfare, but months later, the only people who are still referring to them are HR or new starters who’ve seen them on a website.
To achieve our goal of true values that we live every day, we have weaved our values into everything we do, wherever it's relevant. They are part of our job descriptions, interview questions, appraisal process, brand guidelines and employee recognition scheme. We also are working with our teams to define how they will be embodied by each of our disciplines. Of course, they are on our website, and we may even put them up on the wall at some point, but most importantly they are a true reflection of our team and the Ambitious, Brave and Collaborative way we work. Values. Made Simple.
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