Thursday 3rd August 2017
In certain circles I have become known as ‘the dog lady’. It’s a bit disconcerting.
But in truth our name has proven to be a great icebreaker - people want to know the story. And if you have a chance to tell your story then you have a chance to step out of the elevator pitch, the corporate brief, the dry and generic list of services that mirror many other talented individuals all seeking to make their way in the world. So for fans of Jackanory, sit cross legged and I’ll begin.
The truth is it relates to our mission and our core values.
I’m reading a book called ‘The Strong Willed Child’, trying desperately to find a way of parenting my eldest through the radical shows of independence and threats of rebellion, which so far has just led me to apologise to my better (calmer) half for the genes I have passed on.
Lightbulb moment. Some things are just hardwired, they’re our personality, the guide to how we approach life and all it’s interactions.
Pioneers, explorers have certain characteristics in common. These have to be hardwired so they withstand the pressures, so they remain when the guard is down, are natural when entering unchartered space. You see it in reality TV, people cannot maintain the mask when the pressure is on.
Too many company values have never left the plaque on the wall to feel the sun on their face, get wrestled with, and become a genuine part of the fibre. Because they are a wish list to impress an audience rather than a product of reflection and self awareness?
So in reflecting on what our professional careers have taught us about us, about what we can offer the world, our values are a reflection of our make up. And these attributes are a great match for tackling our mission, a double win.
Read our formal company values here, but to answer the original question ‘Why the Terrier…?’ to anyone who has ever owned one, this will sound familiar:
Fortitude - you’ve heard the expression ‘like a dog with a bone’ …
Smart - Gun dogs, assistance dogs, they blow your mind with what they can do. But the critical factor is obedience. I don’t mean to disparage but terriers are ‘independent thinkers’
Progressive - Fences - they’re just a challenge. Jump over, dig under, or (my dog) run through. Somehow they will cross those frontiers.
Sincere - Notice how it’s always the cats that play the machiavellian villain - There’s not a lot of duplicity in a dog
Fierce - alright, not literally, not cross the street fierce, but bold.
Verve - Laugh out loud antics, you have to be a bit of a clown at times otherwise it all gets a bit intense.
We thought the name fitted our DNA, it means something to us, it’s a way of shaping how we behave, how we do business, the nudge to have the confidence to do it our style, terrier style. We know we need to be this if we’re to achieve that mission.
And that’s the point isn’t it. We don't have a plaque on the wall. We have the dog lady.