“You know what a champion is? A champion is someone who's ready when the gong rings - not just before, not just after - but when it rings”
I recently drilled some holes and fitted a ship’s bell to the wall here at Continuum HQ. We ring the bell to help us recognise project releases, sales wins, new staff, promotions, qualifications, individual performance and so on. Why?
At Continuum, what we do is hugely significant to our clients – our solutions power millions of client/customer interactions (whether those are purchases, leads, or any other transaction you can imagine). We pride ourselves on serving as our client’s digital strategy and fulfilment partner and encourage them to think of us as another department INSIDE their own organisation.
But agency life is hectic. In the frantic drive to continually improve, to deliver the next project, to debrief on the last one, to build and grow the organisation, it becomes easy to let wins slip by unremarked upon, at company, team and individual levels.
As CEO it’s my job to set company goals and principles, most often ones that are built from the sky down as we chart our way through the evolving digital landscape, but I am particularly interested in recognising the little wins. I believe that to celebrate the little wins is to celebrate the fact that what we do is meaningful, valuable to many and far reaching. The great thing is, those little wins are around us every day, and their impact soon adds up. String a few “little wins” together and before long you’ve got yourself a BIG win.
I like working in a culture where everyone backs each other, a culture that “celebrates” as a part of our working life. In Continuum the rule is that we can celebrate anything so long as it’s meaningful to our people, our company and our clients. This helps unify us in our client mission and in the constant churn of agency life, where dialogue is the unit of currency, it just feels right to embrace any tactic that helps in that unification.
So as I said we ring the bell, for project releases, sales wins, birthdays, when welcoming new staff, when acknowledging a team mates performance, promotions, etc. It’s genuinely enjoyable!! I love the fact that it’s a little bit embarrassing or challenging for some people to stand up in front of their peers and ring a loud bell; it forces them outside of their comfort zone… It’s easy to hide behind a screen full of code, spreadsheets or wireframes, it’s not so easy to hide when everyone is looking at you. But when you realise they too are waiting to hear about another little win, you realise that everyone supports you.
The bell doesn’t toll for the end of a journey, but for another step forward for the company. It marks another contribution to the “Momentum of Continuum”. We know what we need to do, we know where we are headed, we’re busy getting on with it, and we’re solidifying and celebrating every bit of progress on that journey. It allows us to be mindful as a company, focused on an ever evolving destination but recognising the moments where we made tangible and positive progress however small, and that’s another little win…