A kind, last minute invitation this week lead to an opportunity for an unexpected and powerful reflection. An early morning to ensure hair, makeup and frocks were on, Emma and I attended this week’s Business Chicks breakfast with Elle MacPherson.
A global brand on stage to have a fireside chat. I had no idea what to expect, but I have to say I was delightfully surprised.
Learning more about Elle’s story, her background, the ups and downs, her nerves and how she overcomes them – they were all inspiring. But it was this question – do your personal values match the values of your brand or the brand you represent?
Best I take a minute to answer that.
I started Big Fish Events Group 15 years ago, not with any grand plan, grand vision and certainly not any company values mapped out on the top of the page. But did I have my own? Yes, indeed. I guess I used to think of them as “standards of behaviour” –certain things I would do and wouldn’t do. An approach that I would take each and every time; there is a solution to everything that I just needed to find. I may not have all the answers right now, but I could always find it – and I would follow every promise through no matter what.
That lead to me articulating that years later in our BFEG company values – CARE, CREATIVITY and COMMITMENT.
- CARE – in the event context, we really do care about the outcome; personally, its incredibly important to me that you are happy with outcome, I take on getting the right result every time personally;
- CREATIVITY – this is our point of difference. We apply creativity to change the habitual to the exciting creating amazing outcomes. Again, personally, that side of my brain works in overdrive sometimes. But it’s also about being able to be patient enough to keep looking for a solution to get the best outcome. Oh, and being resourceful ….well that might be considered a super power;
- COMMITMENT – we’re here when the first box is delivered and leave when the last box is packed away! Commitment rather that obligation, personally if I make you a promise, I will deliver, no matter what.
In 2018, like all modern-day organisations we went through a brand audit, more of an extension and growth piece than a re-brand. What we decided is that our values and our behaviours had grown. So rather than change our values, we moved CARE, CREATIVITY and COMMITMENT to being named our “foundation values” and crafted 3 more, to keep us growing as a business and reflect who we were now.
So let’s try this exercise with these:
- BRAVE – take a step further…risk is only that if you are not prepared. Prepared we are, on behalf of you and your brand. When I look at this word – there are many things that one might consider as “brave” that I have done throughout my career, but really it’s about managing risk, being prepared – ….oh and feeling the fear and doing it anyway! I don’t believe in faking it till you make it, but I do believe in acting like you belong, until you really do;
- IMAGINATION – we use imagination as our point of difference and our ‘super power’…once your realised that its all invented, you have created your own land of possibility! You don’t really have a problem, you just haven’t thought of a solution yet. Finding the solution never worries me, I just keep asking myself questions, changing my environment, creating some form of movement in my day until the solution comes. It’s a way to get one’s imagination working until its work is done;
- EXPLORE – explore beyond the boundaries, every option, to make sure we have crafted the right solution to get you the ROI you need. Personally, I may not have the solution to the problem, but it’s just because I haven’t thought of it just yet….so I keep going until I do.
Thank you Elle, it was a powerful hour reflecting and recording my thoughts. In regard to the BFEG values and my own – I guess upon reflection, my personal values do reflect the brand I represent!