Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Why strong values provide resilience in difficult times

This week I attended a thought provoking workshop on personal and organisational resilience. I came away with the view that we can learn a great deal from Darwin's views on the survival of the fittest. Contrary to popular belief, fittest in this case is not necessarily the strongest or toughest. The traditionally British qualities of a stiff upper lip and bloodymindedness may not always serve us well when the rules of the game change. Flexibility and a good peripheral vision are key attributes when learning how to cope with new circumstances.

However, this is also a time when our compass, guided by strong values, is needed to ensure we gain the strength of knowing 'where we are going' and 'how to get there'.

When we formed the Sundial Group some 12 years ago we spent time setting out what we wanted to look and feel like by pinning down our values based on our family business at Highgate House. As we now look at ways to adapt our business in response to a massive swing in the supply-demand ratio in the meetings and venues business its very powerful to know that we are not constrained by our values in formulating our strategies. Indeed, by going back to our values of Professionalism, Experience, Respect and Quality we have the tools to assess the market and seek out the opportunities made possible by the trust we have established with our customers.

At a time when venues fight for occupancy by driving down rate we are focusing even more on the people aspects of hospitality and finding new, exciting and innovative ways to evolve Sundial Group based on the excellent resources (both individuals and facilities) we have assembled. I have just been watching a large group of guests at Woodside working on Teamscapes Canape Challenge under the supervision of Sundial people. The energy and fun were coming through because of the buzz from people working together.

Resilience is about how people react to their environment. I believe that by using our values to keep creating the best possible environment, Sundial will always enable learning and creativity to thrive.

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