HarrisonStevens took part in its annual team alignment day in
January. Fuelled by the start of a new decade, this session was focused on ‘The
Power of Story’, with an ambition to end the day with a refreshed appreciation
of what HarrisonStevens stands for and where the practice is going.
Martin Stevens and Mike Harrison have recently updated the
website with a new message on ‘Dream, Story, Impact’, which sets
HarrisonStevens focus of intention. The ‘story’ aligns with our core values and
gifts an opportunity to better understand HarrisonStevens as a practice.
Aristotle said that every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Inspired by fantastic projects, personal development plans and team motivation we set out to gain a better understanding of ‘What is the truth within the story I want to tell?’.
The Protasis – The exposition
Starting the day off at The Institute of Directors, with
ACTIONcoach Daniela Grendene, HarrisonStevens discussed what ‘Team’ truly
means. Broken down it can be better understood as ‘Together, Everyone,
Achieves, More’, this acronym was used as a platform for aligning
a mindset. The collected understanding of TEAM was:
Mike and Martin went on to disseminate information and updates
regarding the last three months of 2019. This was a chance for the team to hear
the results of an exceptional quarter. HarrisonStevens’ resilience, confidence,
investment and security were the highlighted feedback from an incredibly
productive 90 days.
Through 90 Day goals and financial planning, the Management
Team at HarrisonStevens continues to set priorities and offer momentum to the
hardworking and creative team. One of the morning ‘take-aways’ was to action
adding goals and achievements to our personal diaries. In fact, we were
encouraged to stop using the word goal and instead change it to ‘Have’ or ‘What
are our ‘haves’ for 2020?’.
S.M.A.R.T objectives are only attainable when one understands
the ‘Big Picture’. Daniela Grendene presented this powerfully with the use of
Russian Dolls and the team discussed how we could set a compass towards
intention and accomplishments.
Personal Improvement Plans, or PIPs, offer an understanding of
what individuals are striving for and a map of intentions. Every member of the
team from Director to Graduate are offered the chance to set personal plans for
the year. These are supported by Line Managers who set focus and offer
HarrisonStevens’ top ‘take-aways’ from the morning session
- Add 90 day plans to the diary
- Communicate differently
- Take systems to the next level
- The important to see one’s own values in line with that of the company
- Confidence, Contribution, Clarity
- The need to finish what we have started
- Link DISC profiles, goals and business priorities together
The Epitasis – Rising action and climax
During the afternoon of the team alignment day, we set off across Edinburgh towards the Scottish Storytelling Centre, on the Royal Mile. Along the way, the team undertook one of the ten challenges to photograph the whole team at several different Edinburgh landmarks.
Upon arrival at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, the team had
a chance to muse upon the day so far and catch up while enjoying the fantastic
space on offer at the centre. We were all curious about what activities we
would be tasked with and a little apprehensive about the quest ahead.
The objectives of the storytelling session were to encourage
the team to learn:
* Ability to understand the power of creating a narrative
* How to create a narrative within business
* How to engage with our client and consultants through a narrative and story
Guided by a professional storyteller the team were introduced to the key
components of a story. Inspired by Scottish folk stories we were taken on an
adventure. While taking practical steps we were pushed out of our comfort zones
and encouraged to be imaginative in storytelling.
The challenge was to understand the power and tools of
storytelling by expressing a story first to one member of the team, then two,
then to the group. Then individually we had to draw a creative storyboard,
re-tell parts of the story and present HarrisonStevens’ ‘story’.
What makes a great story well told?
- When the ordinary becomes extraordinary
- Psychologically preparing
- Research and Development
- Focused energy
The whole team had a tremendous time and were encouraged to leave with several new skills under their belt. The ambition is that these new skills can be transferred into exceptional project work, how HarrisonStevens’ story is told and how we engage with you.
The Catastrophe – Resolution
What was our outcome for the day? ‘Cherish the story or the character and
identify with it.’
The rain was hammering down by the time we were finishing up
and the team were quick to scurry off to a pub to discuss the top ‘take-aways’
for the day. Ultimately the goal of introducing powerful storytelling
techniques, embedding confidence and setting new ambitions were met.
- Simple steps are the easiest way to reach long term goals
- The importance of planning a beginning, middle and end
- To tell a good story you need all the resources you can get
- Think outside the box
- Be more confident
- Ask questions, be curious and inquisitive
Thank you to Daniela Grendene, ACTIONcoach and the Institute of Directors for hosting our morning session. Thanks also to the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Marion Kelly for an inspiring afternoon.