In our occasional interview series with Craig, we’re chatting today about why Rambutan is unique.
Why is Rambutan so different?
There are some amazingly brilliant consultancies out there, but I believe one of the things that makes us so different is who we are as people. When we first started Rambutan, we focused on how we wanted to be, not what we wanted to do. Our starting point was about our values and our culture. The people who we recruited to the bunch, our Rambu-family, needed to fit 100% against our culture and values. We absolutely believe there needs to be the right competencies and skill levels, but actually, the cultural fit is more important, because we can develop people’s skills and knowledge. I believe this makes us vastly different to other organisations. The other side to our differentiation is that we’re passionate about all that we do, and we really ‘know our onions’!
We’re behaviourists; we understand the different elements that impact people’s mindset, thinking, choices and behaviours. An example could be radical candor (it’s a way of delivering feedback that shows you care passionately about a person, even when offering a challenge to them). We chat with all our clients a lot about behaviour because we understand the importance of it. We even work this way with each other internally, constantly looking for areas of improvement and areas where we’re brilliant, that we should replicate and share with each other. We’re very comfortable having challenging conversations with each other, really honest, trusting conversations. The culture and values that we have in our home lives mirror how we operate at Rambutan – we don’t have a ‘work cloak’ that we put on. We are who we are. You cut us open (not literally!) and you see our values being the same whether we’re at work or home.
There are business differences too. We back-up all our work with our risk-free guarantee and our offer is purely bespoke; there’s no ‘off-the-shelf’, which means clients receive a solution that’s designed just for them and will exceed their expectations.
What do you mean by a challenging conversation?
As individuals, we absolutely live and breathe our culture. It isn’t something that’s set which we look at and think, ‘I am/am not living the culture’. We look at it and think, ‘I am the culture. What am I doing to bring this to life every single day? How am I improving, evolving, engaging and helping others with that as well?’
Our Rambutan culture is one where we have open and honest conversations with each other and our clients. We often check-in with each other and have fun together as a team. We constantly ask ourselves, what more can we do for our clients and ourselves?
If we’re delivering a client workshop, awayday etc., you’ll notice, in the live session, the two Rambutans at various moments huddled in a corner having a little chat. What we’re talking about is what more could we do to improve it? What might we need to tweak? We’re daring and challenging enough that we do it live, to gain the greatest experience and outcome for the client. And, that happens on every single piece of work.
Plus, we hold our values true internally. We’re comfortable and confident to challenge each other, to constantly be the best version of ourselves every single day. Our culture is built around trust. All the bunch behave in a leadership style, regardless of the role they do. We’re all fully empowered, fully accountable and have the space and the trust to make the right decisions for ourselves, the business, and most importantly our clients.
That’s brilliant Craig, but many organisations would say they’re people-focused and unique?
I’m sure they do. The difference is I’m 150,000% (I know that’s not theoretically correct!) confident that we live and breathe our uniqueness every single day. Personally, I seek and offer feedback on how I and others behave. This way we can hold ourselves and each other accountable and be focused on creating an amazing culture. We’re confident in the way we choose to behave with each other, in our approach and in our ethics, that we do everything we possibly can for the client. That makes me immensely confident that every single day we’re doing the right thing.
Do you agree with Craig? What’s your experience?