International Women’s Day (IWD) this year is about choosing to challenge. MyWord’s letter this year is from one business partner to another: a couple challenging the idea that you shouldn’t work with your spouse. From a husband to his wife: choosing to challenge the risk (however small!) that his wife is an any doubt about her inspirational influence on their business and his career…
IWD has always been important to MyWord. This year we have been blessed to have been really busy activating the occasion with a number of our favourite clients. One of our recent IWD traditions has been writing letters to our family. You can see why writing letters feels appropriate for a business and a brand like MyWord. Here’s this year’s letter:
Twenty years ago, when we first met (through work as colleagues at PwC!) a wonderful ongoing conversation started about how and why engagement happens… between employer and employees, NOT between husband and wife!
I’m always honest (sometimes to a fault) and in those early days I confess to an equal sense of wonder and doubt, in the face of your passion and determination to see a magical equation where employees are inspired to go above and beyond.
It wasn’t something I’d experienced first-hand back then, and I always want to be evidence based (often to a fault!). Over the following 15 years we worked separately for all sorts of different employers.
During that time (2008 to be precise), you inspired and encouraged me to take a role at Coca-Cola Enterprises which would broaden my experience from media relations into employee facing communications. That increasingly became my main focus during a decade at CCE and included a major career highlight, leading an award winning employee engagement programme for CCE at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
But this letter is really about more recent highlights. For the last four years we have worked together at MyWord and I have seen first-hand, and seek to emulate, how you make every single client engagement something personal.
You explain employee engagement to clients in terms of inspiring behaviour that looks and feels as though the employees actually own the business themselves. Then you offer an ‘always on’ demonstration, as you deliver MyWord’s contractual obligations (and more!), as if the client’s business was your own.
Which brings me to the business we do own together. One which has been from hero, to zero and back over the last twelve months due to COVID-19. Your relentless love affair with possibility has been an essential feature of our ongoing comeback , as has your uncompromising determination.
My conversion from doubter to believer is not something new, but every day we work together I’m inspired to try to match your super charged engagement levels. So many people roll their eyes at me when I explain how we work together. “Really? Oh, I couldn’t work with my partner…” they often say.
I explain that it is something amazing to have in common, to share and work together on. It’s an adventure I have never felt more engaged with and one that you have inspired and shaped by being you. You’re a natural and (to quote ‘The Monkees’), I’m a believer!