What are Spoon’s actual values? Employees have spent a whole year trying to figure it out, and now their thoughts have converged into one common manifesto.
Most of what Spoon does involves working quickly in small teams, to tight deadlines, with the intention to change things. But this little publication, The Spoon Spirit Manifesto, was completely different. Over 100 employees spend a year not really trying to create anything new.
“When we began thinking about Spoon’s values, it wasn’t because they needed to be changed but more because they needed to be preserved,” says Melker Forssén, Spoon’s Chief Creative Director.
The importance of values today
Values are more important than ever before in a time of rapid change and increased polarisation. Therefore, Melker and the rest of Spoon’s management team began by talking about what the company really stood for and how it should be formulated. By who and in what way? They quickly realised that it should not come from above.
“All employees at our five offices should had the opportunity to take part. And it should acknowledge that values are important to us in different ways – in our relationships with our customers, to society in general and in the relationships between our employees,” says Melker.
Involving the whole organisation
Together with Jonas Boutani and Henrik Johansson from Fantastic Studios, Spoon developed a process for how the project would be run, although in practice it could look different at the various offices.
The main idea was to hold three workshops in every office, open to all employees who wanted to be involved. Each workshop would answer one of three questions:
- Which values have contributed to Spoon’s success to date?
- Which values will be required in the future?
- Which values characterise a really good work place?
Workshop number one, on values that lead to success, took place in March 2017. Employees talked together in small groups about things at Spoon that they felt were good – assignments, processes, parties – and which values made them possible
Our values are a compass
At the second workshop, employees gathered to think about future challenges and what they mean for our values. And in the third workshop, employees sat down to discuss how values should be embedded in a group and a workplace.
“We have talked with each other for an unbelievable amount of time and it has been a lot of fun. The first workshop was a real boost, we were reminded of how much we have to be proud of. And the other workshops gave the chance to think about the future in a way that we don’t always do on a daily basis. That was probably the most important outcome from our values project,” says Petra Bagge, Business Director and coordinator of Spoon’s central HR work.
For her own part, she is happy with the huge engagement with many people wanting to be involved. She was also surprised by how much consensus there is within Spoon, regarding both the values and challenges. These experiences are good to have in your daily work, thinks Petra Bagge:
“Now we know that we can use our values as a compass when making difficult decisions – should we do it or not? The answer is in our values.”