Tales in the office – BTB helps Principality tell its own story

Beyond the BorderStaff at Principality Building Society’s Cardiff headquarters had a big surprise on Friday, when a band of storytellers burst unannounced into the office, and proceeded to tell them stories to explain and exemplify the company’s key values.

This ‘storytelling intervention’ was an innovative and dynamic exercise in staff training from Beyond the Border – each story addressed a different value or theme at the heart of Principality’s vision, and brought each concept to live with vibrant, expressive imagery, characters and language.

Storytellers Francis Maxey, Daniel Morden and Cat Weatherill told traditional tales about ideas such teamwork; the importance of home and community; courtesy, respect and care for the customer and understanding the value of things.

“Our core values and principles are very important to us at Principality, and we ask all our colleagues to acknowledge and embody them,” explains Hannah Poulton, Head of Muliti-Channel Communications at Principality Building Society. “We know how invaluable reading is for people of all ages through our own reading schemes with Llanishen and Glyn Derw high schools in Cardiff and we think these short, intense and enthralling performances are great way of sharing these values with staff.”

Eirwen Malin, Chair of Beyond the Border explained “Stories and storytelling have been a natural way of passing on cultural values and behaviours for centuries. This exercise has shown how their ancient power works just as well in the modern workplace, as is does by the fireside, or in the theatre.”

The storytelling interventions at Principality were part of the first Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Cardiff, a campaign for key organisations and the public at large to think innovatively about how education can be delivered sustainably in the face of increasing pressures on public sector budgets.

Led by NIACE Cymru, with support from Welsh Government and Big Lottery Fund Wales, the two-week festival has taken place in as diverse locations as pubs, banks and museums across Wales, as a cross-section of society are urged to put forward their ‘dangerous’ ideas over how they think the future delivery of education and training could look like in Wales.

Commenting on the motives behind the campaign, acting Director of NIACE Cymru, John Graystone, said: “The current economic situation presents serious challenges with drastically reduced budgets. So, now more than ever is a crucial time to think innovatively about sustainable ways to deliver key public services such as education. This exciting campaign, the first of its kind in Wales, aims to stimulate ideas and debate about future ways of delivering education and training.”

Following a comprehensive evaluation it is hoped many of the ‘dangerous’ ideas discussed during the festival will help shape future education policy and ensure future generations of learners reach their full potential and reap the social and economic benefits that derive from lifelong learning.

For the latest news or full calendar of events visit  www.cymrufodi.co.uk / @CymruFODI.

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