Outlook values – Collaboration

Posted on Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 by

Work/life – A balance? Or one and the same?

Generally, I think that having a ‘values’ system within a business only has meaning if it transcends the daily work-related objectives and continues 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. That behaviour just isn’t in support of a balanced or productive mental state!

Values, or principles, are fundamentals in human behaviour. When recognised and followed with consistency, can be the difference between success and failure in all of your 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?

Know yourself first

I asked my team recently to write down their ‘Mission Statement’. These included their personal goals for life, the universe and everything (to steal from Douglas Adams!). By embracing this ‘promise to yourself’ and 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 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?

Good P/PC balance – Making a habit of it

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 certainly a no-brainer. Plus it’s simple to embrace and encourage.

However, you have to work pretty hard at it to make it become a habit. As the late Mr Covey says in his The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (a book that’s usually within an arms reach of mine!):

‘To maintain the P/PC Balance, the balance between the golden egg (production) and the health and welfare of the goose (production capability) is often a difficult judgement call. But I suggest it is the very essence of effectiveness.’

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 four principles of behaviours would be the most natural and self-perpetuating way to go.


Working towards a common goal

For me, collaboration is one of the key values that 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!) 

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. What we try to encourage throughout the whole Creative Group is for individuals to become selfless in their approach – to be balanced and confident enough to be open-minded to 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!