As I exchanged Christmas best wishes via email with my fellow AI practitioner Christine Sanchez Whitney, she shared her recent AI project with a US engineering company, which explored company values. One of the agreed values was the importance of fun. This comment stayed with me – partially because I found it unexpected and unusual. On reflection, I realised that having fun was a very important component – we spend so much of our time working, and if it’s fun, then we’ll be more effective and enjoy it.
The concept of fun as a core value has stayed with me. After Christmas I had the opportunity to stay at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, UK and experience – for the second time – its outstanding hotel restaurant GB1. Dining with my son, who works there, I had the opportunity to talk to the staff, observe them at work and experience the excellent service. My son also shared how the teams worked and the expectations placed on them.
Listening to the staff, and experiencing the service and high quality food, I saw:
- Passion about food, great service and providing the customer with a quality experience that included food, care and the willingness to give a ‘little bit extra’
- Knowledge about the food, and wine that was shared an informal and relaxed manner, helping customers make informed choices
- Interest in people and building a relationship from the start, making sure they feel welcome and have a great time.
So what about fun? I learned two things – one was sense of camaraderie amongst the staff, highlighted by the sense of fun between them, but also with the customers. Secondly, the obvious enjoyment for what they did.
The Grand’s staff are paid the going hotel industry rate and are part of a company with opportunities for career progression. What I saw was teamwork of the highest order, with core values of passion, knowledge, interest and a sense of fun; a demonstration of how human skills and relationships are at the heart of quality teams. A final comment: the restaurant staff are international and the culture created was a clear demonstration that diversity can enhance teams and organisations.
In what ways does your team operate with fun, passion, knowledge and interest?
At a team meeting share stories and examples of how your team demonstrates fun, passion, knowledge and interest.