The Importance of Celebrating Your Successes

We’ve recently embarked on a partnership with Women’s Aid Integrated Services (WAIS), a charity that provides support to thousands of women and children who are experiencing domestic abuse in Nottingham and South Nottinghamshire. We’ll be using Design Thinking to fuel the innovation capability of what is already one of the UK’s most dedicated and impactful charities.

On May 23rd, we got to work with the whole organisation for the first time, within their quarterly away-day. What we’d observed and heard from WAIS is something we see in many successful organisations; the hustle of day-to-day management meant that they didn’t often have the opportunity to pause, take a step back, and reflect on the impact of the work that they do.

We asked the group, within their existing department teams, to generate as many success stories as they could think of from their time at WAIS. Times when they had had a positive impact on the women and children that they work with. Teams then selected one story to develop and unravelled the ingredients to that particular success, before sharing back to the wider group.

Focusing solely on success is a surprisingly difficult task — one that requires you to fully disconnect from the challenges you’re currently facing. It’s an even more difficult task if you have a very humble organisational culture. To avoid getting stuck in specifics, we employed an extremely annoying air horn and were ruthless in making sure teams moved on in time from task to task.

The employees at WAIS shared a range of success stories where they’d gone above and beyond the call of duty to have a positive impact, and always in the face of constraints such as limited time and budget. Our biggest takeaway was the collective faces of surprise and pride around the room as stories were shared.

The chance to reconnect with the work that you do and the reason you do it is well worth taking the time to hit the pause button. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with WAIS during the rest of what will be a really exciting and collaborative partnership.

Sign up to our newsletter to hear more about the goings-on at We Are Unstuck, and for a fortnightly dose of curiosity.