World Quality Day: what makes a good business?

World Quality Day: what makes a good business?

SPCK Fundraising Assistant Catriona Brickel reflects on the values of SPCK as a company. On World Quality Day, she considers the core beliefs and principles of a good business.  

Today is World Quality Day, introduced by the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) to help organisations celebrate their achievements and reflect on their values. It’s an excellent opportunity for us, as a society, to consider the question: what values define SPCK?

We are experiencing a period of considerable change and have recently won the ‘Best App of the Year’ award at the Premier Digital Awards, so I might focus on innovation. But it’s also a period of continuity with a long-established history, so perhaps tradition would be more important. We have been reviewing our processes recently, so maybe I should consider strategic thinking and efficiency. Or I could look at unity, to reflect our ecumenical outlook.

These are all admirable qualities, to be sure, but none of them seem to grasp what SPCK is truly about. They are somehow too cold, too corporate. In any case, they don’t capture what I have enjoyed the most about my first 6 months working here. Of course, I am a millennial, and so appreciate the undeniable value of technological change. I am also a philosophy graduate, who focused on philosophy of religion, so I really appreciate the quality of our books.

But, first and foremost, I am a Christian. The real joy of working for SPCK is that we really do strive to put Christ first! Love of God and love of one another truly motivate the team here. We aim to serve God every day through our publishing, which promotes Christian knowledge be that through Bible studies, biographies of great Christian figures, fiction with Christian themes or picture books to introduce our very youngest readers to the Bible.

But we also love and serve people. We serve one another in the office – I genuinely don’t think there can be a friendlier place to work! We serve our generous supporters, including members, readers and authors, by being transparent about our work, by listening to concerns and responding quickly and by providing clear updates on the impact of their gifts. And we serve the beneficiaries of our programmes, such as this prisoner at HMP Barlinnie who participated in a prison reading group, resourced by our Diffusion prison fiction programme:

“This is the first book I have read! My age is 61. [Taking part in a group helped me with] building convdenc [sic] and that you are not alown [sic] in your reading skils [sic]”

In providing free, easy-to-read books for prison reading groups which focus on themes such as empathy and the importance of developing positive relationships, not only do our books improve literacy but they also encourage self-reflection. The Bible tells us to “administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another” (Zechariah 7:9) and so by supporting prison education in this way, we serve God too. Please join us in loving the marginalised and those shut away from society, by supporting Diffusion; discover more about the programme here.

And so, amongst all of the corporate buzzwords, the core of SPCK is rooted in Christ and his commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength… Love you neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31) This is the motivating force behind our innovations and so whilst SPCK may seem to be changing, you can be assured that our values are the same as they have always been: firmly rooted in love and service.

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