Our vision is to achieve mastery in our space by having a position on all things people, leadership, strategy.
It is a vision for a reason – a vision is a goal or an aspiration, it is not your current state. We are not so egotistical as to think that we are masters of our profession – but we think it is a bloody good goal to set and even if we don’t reach it, as long as we are striving for it, we will be the absolute best we can be.
In the words of Maya Angelou (which we borrowed as one of our core values) “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
At our team strategy retreat late last year, the idea of aiming to be masters of our space was crystallised as we spoke about wanting to work with our clients on things that we could, hand-on-heart, say we brought expertise and value to their business in.
The natural follow on question was ‘what exactly is our space?’ We certainly didn’t want to be all things to all people. In fact, if we tried to do that, then we would have no chance of gaining mastery. And so we started defining what people, leadership and strategy involve in business.
What resulted was the graphic you will see hanging larger than life (about 2 metres square) in our standing meeting room today.
A powerful part of the process of defining the elements involved, was identifying that even though some things were a part of people, leadership and strategy, they were not elements that we should or would deliver to our clients ourselves. So we now have strong clarity on the elements that our team will push ourselves to master, and which elements we know our clients will be best served by a trusted partner. We see this being the ultimate win-win-win situation – our clients get the best possible support and advice, we have the peace of mind that they are in good hands, and our peers who are the experts and masters in their own space are doing what they are best at.
The other positive side effect of this exercise was finally being able to define to people what we do – our profession is one that has many tentacles and can be particularly difficult to define succinctly. Perhaps for the first time since studying HR at university 20 years ago, I will be able to explain to my family exactly what I love doing at work each day!