The Background

I think I knew what the essence of our consultancy business would stand for back in April 2016, when I incorporated the business. This would have been ready for the moment I would jump ship in the not too distant future. Having worked within the I.T Industry for over 17 years across the Arts, Educational & Commercial sectors, I had seen how technology was utilised across many disciplines and the way in which both the customer and the partner behaved toward each other as well as how services were actually provided.

Throughout the years of varying careers I had prior to immersing myself in technology, I had always prided myself on placing a significant emphasis on excellent customer facing skills and building strength in relationships within the workplace. I am a part of an unspoken collective of individuals around the world who can be defined as a nerd with technology, but has a personality to socially interact well with others and connect humans to complex technology concepts.

Think of a good PR expert who understands technology!

So, the values in business. Where did it come from?

So what did this have to do with values in my business? Everything.

In the first month of my business trading, I attended an incredibly rewarding Ride the Wave – Brighton Chamber of Commerce whole day workshop in October 2017 entitled: “Keep on keeping on: growing your business”. This workshop was run by Richard Freeman of the Always Possible network, (to which I have now become a fully premium member of). There was a lot of great content to be covered, in checking business plans, conducting health checks and looking at ways to engage your client and customers. This was then followed up an hour session with a mentor of your choice and a free 3 month membership of Richard’s organisation.

“It was from this point that I began to start forming ideas about our values and the tone of our organisation”.

These were through various conversations, from what we heard other business owners talk about and as we started to write up our Business Model Canvas . We were very lucky to have had an excellent mentoring session with the incredible Fiona Shafer, Managing Director of the mdhub that was given as part of the workshop offering and that helped solidify our approach and the types of clients we were looking to work with. Then we quickly had our 1:1 soundboarding meeting with Richard, where we then focused on the core strengths of our business and discussed the type of mind-mapping that we would need to do to progress forward.

These Mind Maps formed part of the building blocks of what Zazara Consulting‘s core values are today. When we look back at them now, we can see how our final 6 values have come to be born. We were asked by Richard to place these into Value Sets. These value sets were as follows:

Attitude 1 + Attitude 2 + Attitude 3 = Value Set 1
Attitude 4 + Attitude 5 + Attitude 6 = Value Set 2

These then turned into our concise Value Drivers or Core Values.

How did the Mind mapping turn into tangible core values that represent our consultancy?

This process really pushed us to think about what we represent within the industry and how we go about seeking the types of clients we believe in and wish to partner with. We also had to consider our very clear guidelines regarding representation, inclusivity and how we ensure that the types of people we do business with could easily understand what our core values mean and how we actually go about representing them through our business behaviours.

What did our core values look like?

In order to ensure that we further refined what our business stands for and how we position ourselves within the marketplace, it was very clear to us that focusing on the strength of relationships & bridging the enormous gap of technical knowledge with a personal, bespoke relationship with a client partner was going to be critically key to our success.

We then see our new new core values created as:

We knew that the foundation of these values were going to resonate across the business and that our existing client partners would reinforce this. We felt that these values would:

  • Enable us to stand out within a heavily saturated technology marketplace
  • Speak to our potential new client partners on a personal, relationship-driven perspective
  • Amplify our community and social enterprise perspectives
  • Promoting of free education
  • Set us apart from the competition – we don’t always follow the rules
  • Illustrate our energy and enthusiasm

This was it. Zazara was ready to re-align its services and offerings and refine our exact type of activities to the wider community. We were able to relaunch our web presence on the basis of these core values and they have also prepared us for our community and social enterprise projects that will commence later in 2018.