Uncovering our values, with a dash of spirituality

Culture, Team

Every person, group, or company has values, even if they are not made explicit. We decided it was time to capture ours and write them down. This will support hiring, improve decision-making, and foster more meaningful conversations as a team. The way we did it was in true Skyscrapers fashion a bit unique.

Read on and find out!

Why company values?

Values [noun]

  1. the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.
  2. principles or standards of behaviour; one’s ~judgement~ of what is important in life.

Here we’re looking at values as “principles or standards of behavior”. Even if not written down, every person, group of people or company has values. For the group they are a combination of the personal values of the existing team.

By making values explicit and writing them down, you get a solid foundation for a more aligned team. Values help shape …

  • our common behaviours
  • how we interact with each other, customers, and others
  • what we look for in potential new colleagues
  • decisions

Having a more aligned team is more fun, results in more flow and accelerates the company.

How we uncovered our values

In true Skyscrapers fashion, our approach was atypical of what you might encounter in many other more classic organisations.

The first phase was exploring our own field in the widest sense possible. In conversations around personal development, our resident coach Ben often uses the concept of the five elements (earth, fire, metal, wood, water). At the last retreat Ben kicked off the values-workshop with a refresher on those elements and seasons.

  • 🌞 Summer, Fire: brings love, needs peace
  • 🍂 Fall, Metal: brings Purity and Beauty, needs clarity and structure
  • ❄️ Winter, Water: brings wisdom, flow and continuity, needs surrender and deep trust
  • 🌸 spring, Wood: brings creativeness and freedom, needs space


Team Retreat Ardennes Brainstorming

After that we slowly revisited each element. With each element we took the time and space to let it land and feel it. Eventually this created the right conditions to let all kinds of related words and concepts come to us. We wrote these words down and then collected them at the end of each step. Eventually, we ended up with a busy wall of post-its, just like any good brainstorm.

After some time to let things seep in a bit, the second phase was done remotely. Here we went over all of the elements again doing the following exercise per element. We started by going over the words of a certain element one by one. We were invited to listen carefully and let each word resonate with us. After all the words were reviewed, we were invited to say which ones stuck the most and ‘felt right’. In this step it was surprising to see how certain words and concepts reoccurred in different people’s lists.

The final step was for me, the founder, to compile a value statement based on what came out of the group. After some back and forth in the whole team we agreed on our values.


Our values

And this is the result:

  • 🌸 Self-Leadership (Spring, wood) We keep on experimenting to drive innovation. Be the change and empower ourselves, our customers and the world.
  • 🌞 Team First (Summer, fire) We are proud and passionate in what we do, where continuous learning, respect and strong cooperation are constant.
  • 🍂 Transparency (Fall, metal) We are honest, open and clear in everything.
  • ❄️ Persistence (Winter, water) Being thoughtful and flexible allows us to embrace movement and changes


For now we’ve only posted them on our hiring page. We plan to give them a more prominent place later on, so anybody that is interested in working with us can check if they are aligned with who we are.


Job done?

Uncovering and writing them down for the first time is only the start. Now comes the work of bringing them into work more consciously: in conversations, in decisions, in holding each other accountable, etc.

They will also keep on evolving. Even after working with them for a couple of weeks, we’ve already identified some potential improvements. It won’t stop there. People evolve all the time (especially in Skyscrapers 😉 ) and people will join and leave us. Throughout practicing our values, conversations about them will evolve the shared understanding. You’ll probably find updated values in the near future.


Wrapping up

I hope you enjoyed this post. Let us know if you have any thoughts or questions on our journey. Or if you feel your values are aligned with ours, you may want to become a colleague or a customer 🙂