A LOOK BACK
A year and a half ago, we introduced a blog series on our company’s Non-Negotiables. At TGG, our Non-Negotiables are six traits and characteristics that guide us in our everyday interactions with each other, our clients, and our communities. They are the pillars on which we have built, and will continue to build, the company.
The Non-Negotiables came about in a particularly organic way. We did not sit down in a “strategy session” to “identify our Non-Negotiables”. They came about naturally as we thought about the values that are important to us, how we wished to create, cultivate and maintain relationships, our culture, and most importantly….the traits and characteristics we saw really successful TGGers demonstrating. The Non-Negotiables became an articulation of how we were already living.
Our Non-Negotiables are reflected not only in our day to day interactions, but in our recruiting, our professional development, and our feedback process. They are our framework for holding ourselves accountable in our work and relationships, and it is our greatest point of pride that our team consistently reflects them.
Our six Non-Negotiables are:
- 1. Collaborative
- 2. Integrity
- 3. Intellectual Curiosity
- 4. Thrives in Ambiguity
- 5. Emotional Intelligence
- 6. Grounded Confidence
When we began this blog series, we asked different members of our team to write each of the six blogs, and we are really proud of how they turned out. The authors reflect a group of individuals with different backgrounds, varying years of experience (and time with the company), diverse perspectives, and different working styles. We also sat down and filmed the historical context of our Non-Negotiables and how they guide our focus as we grow our firm.
Little did we know that half way through this blog series, we would find ourselves in the middle of not only a global pandemic, but also significant societal upheaval in the ongoing fight for equity, inclusion and racial justice.
We knew how our Non-Negotiables guided us in “normal” times, but how would they hold up in such uncertain and stressful times?
The answer is that we have relied upon them even more heavily. We focused on taking care of and supporting each other (Integrity, Emotional Intelligence). We engaged even more deeply, and in many cases with more flexibility and an even stronger sense of service, with our clients (Thrives in Ambiguity, Intellectual Curiosity, Collaborative, Grounded Confidence). We also revamped our recruiting and evaluation processes to further embed these characteristics and traits (all six).
We believe the increased level of depth and focus on our Non-Negotiables has been motivating and rewarding for our entire organization. It has also furthered our commitment to putting people and culture first in times of prosperity and uncertainty alike.
Our Non-Negotiables continue to be the most accurate representation we have of our company’s culture. They reflect who we are and who we will continue striving to be as we build our team and company.
We hope you have enjoyed this blog series as much as we have enjoyed sharing it. We encourage leaders and teams to think critically about the aspirational and lived culture you desire for your organization and orient everything around bringing it to life.
About the Author:
Mike is passionate about client service and leading people. He enjoys watching people grow, develop, and discover their true path. Mike is a visionary and forward thinker with extensive multinational experience and a proven track record of serving clients. With more than 25 years of business leadership and consulting in a wide variety of challenging and ambiguous environments, Mike got his start in the industry at Deloitte Consulting and has since held executive leadership positions in consulting, supply chain services, and public education organizations.