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Work with people who believe what you believe, the power of shared values

By HGB , Jan 23 2018
Swinging on the monkey bars at primary school instilled values in HGB’s strategic director that have formed the foundation of HGB as a company. Jacqui Gage-Brown discusses the importance of shared values.

When I was a newbie at primary school, my biggest question was: “Who do I play with?” When lunchtime rolled around, the answer was easy. Some kids stayed inside and read books, some kids sat outside and ate their lunch, but I quickly gravitated to the group of kids who ditched their lunches and headed for the monkey bars.

We’d stay there until the bell signalled it was time to head back to class. You could say my passion for CrossFit was evident from a young age!

We enjoyed each other’s company because we loved the same things – being busy, having fun, and challenging each other. These friendships sustained me through primary and high school, and some are still going strong today.

When you surround yourself with people who share your values, great relationships are formed. You still need to work hard to nurture and grow relationships, but you already have a strong foundation to build on.

At HGB, our core purpose is to create meaningful experiences, and to create and deliver these we are guided by our values – think, feel, do. We love to work with people who share our values and whose core purpose resonates with our own. This applies to our staff, clients and suppliers.

Values-based partnerships

At HGB our values are a blueprint for how we build relationships with clients. Like the kids I befriended at primary school, the strongest relationships happen when values closely align and we can work together towards a common purpose.

We like to think of it as a dinner party. Whether the party is at your place or ours, we’ll always bring think, feel do to the table and we ask clients to bring their signature dish. We take the time to get to know each other’s values and what we can expect from each other because of them.

This provides a blueprint for the relationship going forward, with our shared values as the pillars of that blueprint.

Values-based recruitment

As the directors of HGB, Kylie and I have a strict recruitment policy – hire for values and those who ‘want it, get it, and have capability to do it or learn it’. You can teach skills and impart knowledge, but you can’t teach values. A candidate either has the right values or they don’t.

So make your values front and centre in your recruitment process, from your job adverts through to position descriptions and interview questions. Make it abundantly clear that your values are more important than anything else. Find out what your candidate’s personal values are and decide if they are a right fit for your company culture.

At HGB I love hearing the team refer to our values when they are solving problems or planning projects. Knowing that think, feel, do is truly embedded through everything we do – that’s a magic moment for me. That’s the kind of strong team I want to take HGB into the future.

Relationships that last the distance

HGB is entering its fifth year now, and we feel privileged to still be working with clients and staff who joined us from the start.

As well as sharing values, we also share a similar business ethos. Like us, these clients have growth aspirations and are constantly looking at what they need to get where they want to go. They realise that marketing plays a fundamental role in business success and they’re willing to invest time and resources into doing it well.

Know your values

If you have been thinking about your company values, think deeper than the standard ‘honest, integrity, trustworthy…’ At HGB we say these are qualities we expect from all companies!

Think about what makes you different. Think about what unites and drives your team. Check out our e-book Why businesses need to discover their DNA, and how to go about it for our guide on discovering your values.

With your values defined, when you are looking for business partnerships it will be easier to assess whether the relationship is the right fit for you.

Just like the schoolyard days, you can quickly tell who has the same goals as you and who you’re going to have the most fun with when swinging on the monkey bars.

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