Efficient, hardworking, quick-witted, extroverted, fast, accurate, friendly, active and happy – wonderful descriptions. This is the result of my colleagues describing my positive characteristics during our Common Goal Setting (CGS) day.
It sounds quite similar to how I described them. Helpful, good sense of humour, thorough, determined and cheerful were words that I used often while writing descriptions on everyone’s cards. Seems like these characteristics are typical to a Fiblon employee!
Last week’s annual CGS day was our eighth CGS day. Setting common goals is just as important today as it was eight years ago. Themes may have changed, but the foundation that our strategies are based on has stayed the same.
I am immensely proud that we get to spend this day together every year. Each CGS day has been a unique experience and we always create the day’s programme together. Even though the management decides on the main theme and goals, the final result is created by all of the participants. The company cannot make this day complete by itself – it can only provide the setting.
The same is true for company culture. The company cannot decide on its own what the culture is like. Instead, it is shaped by each employee. Values act as the foundation for company culture. However, values themselves do not make a company – it depends on how we apply those values day-to-day.
Fiblon’s values include profitable growth, satisfied customers, the joy of working and respect for the environment. These values should be reflected in our everyday actions. If a decision would contradict the values, the decision should not be made.
Values are a company’s spine. Time and effort should not be spared when choosing them. Once the values have been chosen, it is time to put them into practice. They need to be like the air we breathe.
Company culture is also influenced in a major way by the attitude we have every day at work. A positive company culture is created by people who act in positive ways. That is why it felt great to describe my colleagues with positive adjectives, like I mentioned at the start, and to find out that the same adjectives were repeated when describing almost everyone – Fiblon’s adjectives!
Why is the CGS day so important to us? Because it invites us to stop and gaze into the future. To take a moment and look around. To think about where we are going and why. What do I need to contribute?
It is also important that we get the chance to chat with our colleagues without being in a hurry. It gives us a chance to get to know our colleagues better. We need to understand different ways of doing and thinking. We often wish that others would do things the same way we do. But there are those of us who act quickly and those of us who act more slowly. There are those who are immediately excited and those who want a moment to think about new ideas. The best teams include all types of people. That way, all perspectives are considered. At the same time, it can be challenging for us to accept different ways of doing things.
During the past eight years our CGS days have covered several themes, e.g. understanding differences, listening and participation. We have discussed how differently we sometimes understand the same concepts or words and why it’s difficult to reach goals if there is no motivation. It is important to discuss even the most difficult subjects.
How has the CGS process influenced our company? What have we achieved through it? What would Fiblon be like without these eight CGS days? One thing we know for certain is that the world around us has changed, which means it has been necessary for us to change as well. Change has come to stay, and it seems to be accelerating. We need to adapt to it. The more flexible we are and the faster we can adopt new habits, and sometimes even goals, the more successful we will be. The better we understand each other, the better we can handle difficult situations.
The CGS days have brought us closer to each other and helped create new, better ways of working. And most importantly, it has helped us understand each other better, improved our collaboration skills and sometimes even raised important questions. Of course, not all development has been successful. But we have learned to tolerate failures a bit more smoothly.
The CGS process involves much more than just one event a year. It includes a number of smaller meetings all year round, with various participants. This is how we work toward the commonly agreed themes and goals.
Our common journey has included more than just one success after another. It has included many brave trials and bitter errors, but also numerous wonderful successes. Maybe it could be said that to be successful, a company must also know how to handle failure. It’s difficult to enjoy the sweet success unless you’ve also failed bitterly. The key is to keep moving and reach for the stars! And if you fall while reaching for those stars, you can just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and head towards new challenges!
The author is a second-generation family entrepreneur who believes in patience and perseverance. Attitude is what counts!