What’s the point of patting yourself & your team on the back

30 Dec 2015

At CommsQuest we are at home when it comes to advising clients on how to communicate their messages in the most effective way, or how to engage people in a new change – fast.

But as a change & communication agency and a team, do we follow our own advice?

Well the honest answer is we always try to because; it is the best way to test our thinking, new clients always ask if we ‘walk the talk’, and even the simplest team activity tends to create new thought patterns, ways of working or energy.

teamSo after spending most of December creating year end videos, blogs and articles for leaders, and New Year messages of encouragement for large programme teams, we allowed ourselves a few moments to look back at our own highlights for 2015.

You can see our team’s top ten moments which will give you a little insight into our world, but the important point here is what we learned from the process – and therefore why we’d encourage you to try it for yourself.

  • Flip charting a list of all the big activities quickly revealed just how many projects we supported, and where our time was focused. It was amazing to see how much time went on ancillary projects and activities that emerged out of the blue, or due to unexpected changes with clients. It reinforced the need to be responsive and always expect change.
  • We compared the type of work we’d planned to do with the types of projects we delivered. In our channels practice we produced over 20 films this year, but had only planned to make a couple at the start of 2015. We found great feedback from the initial films created a snow ball effect with other clients, and of course our enthusiasm spread from one project to another.
  • We took advantage of our team’s hidden talents. Our communication consultant Lorraine stepped in at an event to host a presenter-led event film, proving she was even more adept in front of the camera than behind it. She is now planning a regular magazine TV channel for a client.
  • We spotted trends across multiple industries, and shared our experiences with them. Our FX settlement bank, retailer, Insurer, FMCG manufacturer and pharma clients had one thing in common – they needed help visualizing and articulating complex changes in a simple way. We developed an artist led workshop and recruited a HBR style case study writer to bring the narrative to life, this merged a number of tools we’d previously developed but proved so helpful because it accelerated a normally time consuming process.
  • We broke a few of our CQ house rules. We created a ‘listening’ workshop for a global programme, but instead of delivering it ourselves we coached our client to train her leadership team. She did a fantastic job, and her team were incredibly complimentary about her and appreciative of their new skills. We also delivered communication skills training by VC and Telephone for a global team – which was hard work but very well received. We now have further opportunities in the pipeline, and a robust process.
  • We took a few more risks and they paid off. We opened our ‘ideas draw’ to other consultants, and working behind the scenes and client facing we learned a lot from helping them with their more ‘tricky’ projects.
  • Finally, we shared our thinking with the Business School at University of Greenwich. Having our ideas, and lecturing skills scrutinized by academics was daunting but proved very rewarding –  we even got to share the December UoG magazine with John Boyega, lead actor in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

So for the CommsQuest team, looking back at 2015 has made us look forward to 2016. Talking about our own best moments has provided a real energy boost at a time of year when we typically start to slow down.

We’ve shared just a few thoughts from our exercise and we’d be glad to talk more about our experience, but we’d much rather talk about yours, so please feel free to drop us a line, tweet or call.

Happy New Year!