It was back in 1932, when a vehicle suspension engineer named George Carwarardine invented a spring, crank and lever mechanism that could be positioned with the lightest of touch yet would maintain its position once released, a blueprint for the first Anglepoise task lamp was born.
My journey with Anglepoise began in the 1980s when visiting my Dad’s office as a young wide-eyed boy. I have distinct yet somewhat soft-focussed memories of marvelling at numerous stick-insect-like lights arranged in all sorts of shapes and forms on desks piled high with papers and files. Fast forward to today and having recently discovered that my own desk light had disappeared from my office only to reappear on my daughter’s desk, a need for a new light surfaced.
As my search began, I went back to my youth to rediscover the Anglepoise and ended up finding a whole lot more than light. My journey from lapsed fan to advocate started with their product but was realised by Anglepoise using customer touchpoints to build deeper more meaningful engagements with me. These included written and video content on their website, two books (Spring Light and The Importance of Balance and through the responsive, polite and human interactions with their customer service team. As I learnt more about the history of this iconic product and read about how Anglepoise operates as a business much of their work and ethos chimed with the work that we do at Mindyasa.
Getting clarity on their why
The Importance of Balance by John Purnell, Anglepoise’s MD, is a book that provides an overview of ‘The Anglepoise Way’. It is a refinement of more than twenty years of experience and research into great company cultures and fundamental principles, and how to put them into practice. Needless to say, as I founded a business that helps Leaders grow their businesses by helping them get clarity on their why, what and how, this book resonated with me.
Anglepoise’s vision has five core elements that serve as their North Star, elements that they are always striving to achieve. Each of these elements has been described in great depth providing clarity so employees understand what they are striving for. The five elements listed in order importance are:
- Great Place to Work
- Customers Delighted
- Love the Products
- Proud of Anglepoise
- Culture of Excellence
What I admire and find inspiring about these are that they seem so obvious and as simple to grasp as turning on an Anglepoise lamp. What is still surprising is to see that CEOs and leadership teams aren’t always putting a flag in the ground in their strategy plan with respect to calling out People and Culture. If you buy into the adage that happy employees lead to happy clients and happy shareholders, who wouldn’t put Great Place to Work down as their first element of their vision?
What I also love about the work is that Anglepoise uses powerful words like ‘love’, ‘proud’ and ‘excellence’ to communicate in a way that builds emotional connection. I remember a client who insisted on removing emotional words in favour of something safer, a point we fought against but lost. Anglepoise’s use of words is inspiring and brave.
As a further example of what good looks like, these core elements surface as a golden thread across everything they do and have been written in the company’s purpose statement that adds a little more detail to each of those core elements.
Anglepoise’s purpose statement
To have a great place to work that enables everyone to play to their strengths; empowering us to all do the right thing. We aim to delight our customers and partners. Through care and attention to detail we design timeless products that are a pleasure to use and are loved. To develop an organisation, brand and products that people are proud to be part of. We will work together to continuously improve on our journey to excellence.
Like Mindyasa, the team at Anglepoise believe that everything that the organisation does should start with understanding why. They consider their purpose and the reason why they are here. Your organisation’s why describes its singular purpose and value to society that drives you and your team – you can read more about organisational North Stars here. Anglepoise’s mission statement (their what) flows from their Vision and Purpose. It brings to the fore their high level priority targets to achieve their overall strategy that are tracked as part of a balanced scorecard.
Their inspiring work makes me reflect on the opportunities for improvement in my own business and those of our clients – to create great places to work and how we might turn prospects into customers and onto advocates by building deeper, more meaningful engagements.