Keeping values alive at SAICA

Updated: Nov 4

A big thank you from Simon Proctor, the General Manager of Saica Flex, to the Inspiration Community for helping SAICA explore new ways to keep their values alive.

IP's Inspiration Community is a growing group of international culture passionates, working in different companies. The Inspiration Community is helping one company per quarter to find fresh and inspiring ways to keep values alive. We call this returning exchange of ideas the Quarterly Inspiration Cycle (QIC).

The September QIC was focusing on how to keep the values of SAICA alive. SAICA is a European multinational, providing sustainable solutions to produce paper and recycled packaging. The SAICA values are: we create, we value, we challenge. Here is a short interview with Simon Proctor.

IP: Simon, why is living values extra important for SAICA right now?

Simon: Values are critical when times are really challenging. And obviously, we live in challenging times right now. Brexit, pandemic, war, energy crises, and economic turmoil all touchdown in our daily working lives. Working on values recalibrates things, it's so easy to be washed away otherwise. Working on our values is calming and focusing. It's really grounding and enormously useful to get things into context.

In the last few years, our SAICA values have become more and more relevant. At SAICA's 75th birthday (Simon shows a mug with 75), we had a big party in Zaragoza. Back then the world was in a better shape and so were we. But right now, in times of hardship, it's more important than ever to invest in living our values.

IP: What did you like about the Quarterly Inspiration Cycle (QIC)?

Simon: It was nice to meet so many inspiring people and gather outside-in view on how to keep our SAICA values alive. I'm a Steven Covey fan and I like sharpening the saw. The concept is super accessible, because you only visit the stories that are most inspiring to you, and because there are multiple short sessions per value, with groups of a maximum of five people. And although the sessions are short, you really have time to go into the dialogue about the offered concepts and ideas.

IP: Which of the stories inspired you most?

Simon: What I really liked was the practical part of the ideas. No big programs, but tiny little hacks. I most liked the idea of Coffee and Connect and the Values Guardian.

Coffee and Connect means you hand out empty coffee cups at the main entrance in the morning, inviting people to come and get good coffee in the afternoon. You hire a little Baristo bar. The people that show up for the great coffee are asked to answer some survey questions about the values while waiting in line. The results are shown on a larger screen. The nice thing about it is that people start to talk about and engage with the values, and at the same time give you some statistics about them. All while happily getting super good coffee and a nice treat for free. A different break than usual!

The Values Guardian concept entails that you focus on one company value every month and there is one (rotating) guardian. The guardian is responsible for ensuring the value of the month is kept alive in a nice, light, low-budget way.

IP: Would you recommend QIC to your network?

Simon: I'm already looking forward to the next QIC. Sometimes things are very time intensive, but this is low input - high output. I'm never going to miss one again! If the next QIC would be this Friday, I would be doing 1,5 hours again. And yes, I will surely recommend joining my network too.

I also now understand how InspiringPeople became experts in living values with all the formats they've gathered, and I know that I will partner up with them going forward!

We want to thank Simon for talking with us and sharing his enthusiasm about the Inspiration Community!