“Last week I met an old friend of mine who was recently appointed Headteacher of one of the super schools in Barnsley, and whilst we sat having a pint, we discussed the synergy between a well-run business and a well-run school.
“I was fascinated to hear that he had read some of the books on business that I had and he was equally amazed to hear about the emphasis within our business on core values and mission statements.
“As an ex-teacher myself and now as a Director of a private company, it’s a topic that has interested me for a number of years.
“It seems obvious to me that the management of staff in a business or a school is similar to the management of students; generate inspiration and create an environment in which all are given the opportunity to be the best they can.
“We both come from a Roman Catholic background where the emphasis on community, discipline, belonging, tradition and the understanding of what these things meant to us were as much part of our everyday lives and as was breathing. We mistakenly believed these values to be unique to our circumstances, we were wrong.
“It didn’t take long, possibly over the second pint, for us to move onto the morals and values we acknowledged and promoted within our own places of work. We both agreed that for people, employees, staff, students whatever you want to call them, if we all want to succeed in our own communities, school or work, the values we hold have a direct impact and can make or break individuals and organisations.
“For Financial Services, the sector I work in, these are particularly challenging times to start talking about values. I can’t blame anyone for struggling to see how people in my line of work can claim to hold values that promote community and working together. However, we can work to change and influence our own small part of this particular family and hope that by doing so we are able to start to change the sector as a whole.
“The challenge of working outside the Catholic Sector for the first time, in a huge comprehensive, with a staff of over 150, more than 1500 students, and with a budget that would tax the most experienced is worthy of praise in itself. But what’s most impressive to me is that the language that we both speak is the same and the values we hold for our people, our staff, our pupils, our clients are identical.
“We left the pub promising to work together in the future to help each other enhance the values of each of our communities and to enhance the opportunities for all our members. Now that’s what I call a good night out! – Communications Director Bill Bottomley.