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Alone we are strong… together we are stronger 

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Alone we are strong… together we are stronger 

Who gives you permission to be happy at work?
Who encourages you to be the very best version of you?
And how do you bring it all together to work as one super team?

I recently came across this inspiring article that began with a heartening message –

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” * 

This got me thinking about the journey of development we’ve been on at Alive.

As well as exploring our own strengths we’ve been taking things a step further by combining those strengths to be one beautifully connected team.

We would all love to be the best version of ourselves, be all that we are capable of and exist as happier individuals.

When we extend these sentiments to our team members and work on them together the impact can be incredibly powerful.

Discovering and optimising our strengths

A curiosity to explore methods of self-improvement led us to confidence coach, Stephanie Walters and Strengthscope, a profiling system designed to energise peak performance at work. It’s a positive and pragmatic tool designed to motivate people to develop themselves beyond the narrow boxes we tend to confine ourselves to. It measures 24 work-related strengths and determines a person’s 7 significant qualities which most energise them.

As each team member completed the assessment we began to see the potential benefits of understanding each other’s strengths, refining behaviours and building connections between our unique sets of qualities.

Here’s what we learned about exploring strengths as individuals and as a whole:

Adopt a positive psychology mindset

Positive psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. This isn’t about identifying weaknesses and trying to correct them. It’s about defining and focusing on the things that we’re naturally good at and enhancing those experiences.

Understand your own strengths before working on your team

If you don’t understand your own qualities how can you possibly help to develop the skills of others? Take the time to explore what your strengths mean to you, consider examples of when you’ve demonstrated them, believe them and get comfortable with what you’re good at.

Share what you know

Understanding our own strengths is a great first step, but exchanging this knowledge with the rest of your team members moves this on to the next level. Applying our strengths in complimentary ways is the key to creating happier, more productive and more agile teams. Spend time exploring how one person’s strength supports another and how individuals can work together more effectively.

Help people know they’re going to take a different approach

This could be a whole new world for many. We’re not always great at looking inwards, exploring our own selves and being praised for what we’re good at. It’s a good idea to explain why you’re taking any new approach, listen to any concerns, remain open and share the benefits that it will bring.

Implement a coaching culture

When you know what people are good at you’re in a perfect position to help develop those individual qualities. So be a supportive network, build others up, help each other to explore, stretch and grow their strengths and maximise their capabilities. This isn’t just the responsibility of leaders or managers. We can all take part in developing others.

Let people do what they’re good at

We can get hung up on job roles and doing the things we’ve always done. But if we’re not naturally drawn to certain tasks then they become a hard slog. Review who does what within your team and assign the right duties to the right people.

Making work work

Work should be a positive and enjoyable experience and this won’t happen if we’re not doing the things we thrive on, the things that energise us and the things that others will appreciate.

At Alive our focus has always been about taking care of people. That includes the clients we’re working with, the employees and consumers experiencing our ideas and creations and crucially us, the members of team Alive. Because if we’re not looking after ourselves, we won’t be doing a great job of looking after others.

This was just the start of a journey to refine our relationships, bring context to the things we’re best at and maximise on the opportunities to be the best individuals and the best team we can be. For now, we’re celebrating what we’ve achieved and we’re a happier, stronger team as a result. We’re making work work.

* Thomas Edison

By Caroline Roodhouse

“The guys at Alive understand the complexities of our business which means we don’t need to explain the detail of every project or design piece – they’re already on it, which keeps things moving and delivers the results we need.”

Emily Stoten — Head of Marketing, Selecta

“I feel like they own and care for the project as much as we do! I would not use anyone else for my creative work and think Alive is ahead of the game.”

Jo Hobbs — Communications Manager

“Thanks for all your help. We are delighted with the campaign, both in terms of the creativity and messaging but also the thought taken over the rollout of the materials. All looks absolutely fabulous!”

Sarah Crowdy — Campaign and Media Officer Communications, South East Water

“We went to ‘Alive’ for ideas on how to run a specific employee program in Europe. Alan and his team were brilliant in coming up with fresh, creative and practical approaches. The team took charge and executed brilliantly. We are pleased with the progress made so far and hope to have the same level of partnership and commitment going forward.”

Sobha Varghese — Tata Consultancy Services

“We had the privilege to work with the Alive team. It was our first time to be involved in creating an animation for our patients within paediatrics. The team were approachable, friendly, creative and very accommodating. Your vision for what you want to create, is at all times acknowledged, appreciated and accommodated by the team. They worked effectively and with great passion towards our project and worked not only alongside health professionals but also our patients who really enjoyed the experience of working with the Alive team. It has given our team the confidence and inspiration to do further projects in the future. We highly recommend Alive and their exceptional team.”

DR ELENI ATHANASAKOS, Lead Paediatric Clinical Scientist — NHS Barts Health

“‘The short animation developed in co-production with clinicians and young people is outstanding! Informative, developmentally appropriate, vitally fun and engaging. We are really grateful for the expertise of the Alive with Ideas team for their innovative approach in building children’s health literacy.'”

Kath Evans — Director of Children’s Nursing at Barts Health

“Our mission was to update our brand visuals to better reflect our innovative and forward-thinking organisation. After receiving numerous pitches from different branding agencies, Alive stood out with their clear passion and understanding of our identity and goals. We thoroughly enjoyed working with the Alive Team to create an engaging new brand that we are immensely proud of.”

Lianne Springer — Communications and Engagement Lead

“Alive wowed us during the pitch process and they didn’t stop wowing us throughout the whole project. Every person we worked with at Alive were so friendly, knowledgeable and clearly passionate about what they do. They have worked with us to really understand what we do and have created a new brand and website that really stands out from our competitors. Thank you!”

Louise Burnard, Head of Marketing and Communications UK — Be | Shaping the Future

“I think the team have done such a brilliant job, particularly with responding to our requests. It's one of the best mental health videos I've ever seen. Very proud to be associated with your exemplary work. Thank you so much.”

Dr Anna Batho — Clinical Psychologist – Critical Care, UCLH

“We have worked with Alan, Caroline and the wider Alive With Ideas team for many years. In that time, they have provided a dedicated service that is second to none. We appreciate their attention to detail and creative approach to bringing our brand, communications and stories to life. And would recommend them to anyone looking for creative communications support.”

Georgia Beech — Internal Communications Specialist, Ocado Group

“This is brilliant. I wanted to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the team who worked on this. You all understood exactly what we wanted to communicate and why, and then managed to do it in a way that was far better than anything I could have imagined. I’m a bit choked up to be honest!”

Sarah Wright, Head of Communications and Campaigns — NEA

“Each time I work with the team, I am always stunned at the effort and creativity that goes into each detail and am always eager for the end result. The team is extremely accommodating and always provide a fresh approach to our projects that elevates our communications materials!”

Alana Khaytin, Communications Specialist — Braskem America

“What I really appreciate about Alive is that they work with us as partners, and care as much about getting it right for our patients as we do.”

Sara Langston, Patient Engagement & Marketing Manager — italk

“Alive are unique in how much they deeply listen and invest in you and your ideas. I have not come across a company that listens as much as they do to ensure your needs are understood and met (actually - they always exceed my needs and expectations). Everyone I recommend Alive to has an equally brilliant experience. When you work with Alive, you are not only getting some genius creativity brought into your life, you are also hanging out with some of the best examples of human beings I’ve ever known.”

Steph Tranter, Hybrid Exec Coach & Psychologist —

“Alive helped us create a video of our response to the floods of winter 2019. Our Chief Officer received messages from all round the country praising us for it and was really pleased with both the video and the response to it.”

Alexander Mills, Communications Manager — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“Alive were professional, friendly and great to work with. Most importantly they were creative, helping us to bring an extremely important safety campaign to life.”

Jack Grasby — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“The (Alive) team were able to creatively pull together and document (in just over 2minutes) everything our service has achieved over the last few months, from thousands of prescriptions deliveries to hundreds of phone calls made to the vulnerable. The final product was so powerful and reflective of what our service has and continues to achieve. It couldn’t have been better received within the service – thanks Alive for once again helping us to communicate our vision!’”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire & Rescue

“We worked with the team at Alive to create our staff recognition video.
At a time like this, its never been more important to share the amazing work that our staff have done and continue to do on a daily basis under very difficult circumstances. We wanted to shout about this and recognise that when the time came, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue stepped up to the plate. We didn’t want an ordinary thank you post on social media or a basic email sent out internally, we wanted something special. Enter Alive. ”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“This looks amazing - brought a smile to my face scrolling through it :-)”

Jack Ford, Head of Marketing — streamGO

“Our company is fun, we have great brands, but most importantly we’re all about our people – and I wanted an agency who would understand that and help us bring it to life through our website and other comms. Straight away I felt that Alive ‘got’ us and provided the creative inspiration exactly where we needed it, as well as the technical expertise to deliver a well-functioning website.”

Keren McCarron, Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications — KP Snacks

Thank you so much. Incredible work done at incredible speed by incredible people.
Outstanding work as ever and what a turnaround. As for the concepts – wow. These are that good it would be an insult to describe them as just good. It’s a joke, quite frankly. This is exactly the Alive effect I was after. Right now I feel like I am living in an Alive With Ideas wonderland. Thank you!”

Jack Grasby, Campaigns Manager — SYFR

“If you are looking to improve creativity and build teamwork, I highly recommend a session like this for your team. No matter where you are in your creativity journey, a workshop like this can give your team a boost of energy and ideas to invigorate their creative thinking.”

Amy Lilja, IC Manager — Hennepin Healthcare

“Alive were there to help when we were working every hour to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. They gave us the creativity, ideas and support we needed to deliver campaigns which empowered our residents in the most difficult time most of us have ever seen, personally and professionally. The team understood what we needed, worked closely with us and delivered fast without any compromise on quality. Working with Alive has been a joy in the darkest of times and I have no doubt will have helped to save lives. Thanks team x”

Julie Odams, Assistant Director of Communications & Customers — Derbyshire County Council

“We got 'Alive' involved to help us shift mindsets across our organisation and they delivered! Using simple, clear and creative ideas the team have delivered us a campaign which has seen a dramatic increase in idea sharing and development. They’ve also played a significant role in creating a culture of shared success. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with again, in fact, we already are!”

Gavin Buckle — B&Q
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