Our Values and Beliefs
Our beliefs and values reflect and shape our culture and guide us in our work both internally and externally. These are principles that we hope will help everyone who works for us, everyone who works with us and everyone with whom we read understand who we are, what we stand for and how we do things.
Our values are…
1. Great literature is at our heart
Whatever the organisation does, and however it grows in future, great literature is the key element of our DNA. We bring books to life, and getting great literature into the hands of people who need it is what moves and motivates us. Great literature is full of the stuff that makes us human and we share it in a way that opens it up for everyone.
2. We read to lead
Read aloud, the poem or story is a live emotional presence with which we actively engage, creating the space for people to work positively together. What we practice when we do shared reading is not just about books but about the kind of attention to detail and leadership we give to our own actions, other people and the wider world.
3. We are kind but bold
We have the courage to use our instincts, take risks and make difficult decisions but we do this with care and thoughtfulness. This means that while we strive to be kind and empathetic we must also be bold and ambitious. We encourage stretch in order for people to unlock or reconnect with their potential. By being bold we inspire ourselves and others to do more than we or they might have thought possible.
4. We respect individuality but work as a team
Seeking, as literature itself does, the expression of a wide range of experience and background, we are inclusive and respect the reality of individual lives. In every area of our work we seek to create a climate of respect, listening and open-mindedness. We balance opposing needs with care. If we don’t agree with a group or an organizational decision we agree to differ and move on.
5. We value innovation and find ways to live with change
We value innovation, new ideas and foresight. We seek change that moves us forward so that we don’t end up with the ‘patterns that other people have made in the world’. Flexibility and adaptability are as important to us as tradition. Change can be hard to live through: our values provide support during those periods.
6. We have strong boundaries and are well supported
Because deep concerns are often exposed through the emotional thinking triggered by the reading of literature, what we do can be emotionally demanding and requires strong boundaries, individual resilience and organisational support. But we don’t want boundaries or resilience to come at the expense of emotional intelligence, or for us to lose our ability to be moved by reading aloud, together.
7. We celebrate success but learn from our mistakes
We have pride in what we do and celebrate both individual and group achievements. As an entrepreneurial organisation, we value mistakes as great learning opportunities, though we know that as individuals we often feel mistakes as painful. We value careful reflection on what has gone wrong, as well as what has gone right.
8. We work whole-heartedly but value our wellbeing
We work hard and believe in what we do, giving it full commitment and dedication. That will mean, many times, going above and beyond. It is very rewarding and there is a short distance between doing the hard work and seeing the human benefit. Our work requires a suspension of ego and a genuine willingness to roll up your sleeves and muck in. But we take our holidays and call for help when we need it.