Last week, many of the Yard team — and a few of our lovely clients — went to a very different conference in Stoke-on-Trent: Confidence Live.
Not a usual location for a conference, and certainly not your usual type of conference.
As an agency, we provide innovative, reliable, and practical support, but we should also be deeply engaged with our client partners. Our culture at Yard continues to be an essential pillar – we are a team of highly skilled and passionate people who work with the best client partners. We need to continue to grow and develop, beyond professional accreditation.
In a post-Covid world, we sometimes struggle to make deep connections with our client partners, and even occasionally with our colleagues. Industry events are often great to focus on a range of areas related to professional development, but we anticipated Confidence Live would offer all of that and more, a day to be inspired and give us opportunity to spend time focusing on ourselves and our purpose. We also thought the conference was an opportunity to foster our professional relationships, to forge those connections with each other and our clients.
It did not disappoint.
None of us were quite ready for the raw emotion given by every single speaker. A lot of us spent most of the day on the verge of tears, and the buzz after the event hasn’t died down yet. I suspect that the impact of the day, the thoughts and feelings evoked, will be long lasting.
Each of the team have identified moments that really meant something to each of them, and there were many moments.
There was one overarching question posed throughout the day; what is confidence? Across all of the messages from the speakers, and those I spoke with, almost everyone had a different view and angle on the topic, but there were also some key interconnected themes threading through: connection, community and growth.
Overall, there are two main thoughts that I have been left with. Confidence, for me, comes from pride and worth.
Pride. There were lots of references and positive commentary about Stoke-on-Trent, Kirsty the conference organiser is from Stoke and proud of it and I realised that is so important. I’m deeply proud of Yard, our team, and the brilliant work we deliver.
As of last week, we're B Corp Certified, which reminds us what an amazing place it is to work at. In the last couple of years, we’ve won plenty of awards and accolades for our work. More recently, the team have stepped up and are working out how to do everything more efficiently — I wanted to ensure that we looked up, down, left and right to make sure we are delivering our work as cost-effectively as possible for our clients.
The cost of living is biting us all hard, if we are looking at simply passing on rising costs to clients, this is unsustainable. We need to ensure we do much more, and machine learning and AI tech is helping us elevate on many levels, which is something to be proud of.
Worth. In my opinion, the best way to measure worth is by providing value. As a business we strive to deliver that every day. But on a personal level, it's always more complex. I am a daughter, a mother, a partner, and friend. I measure each of these relationships in slightly different ways.
My measure of worth at Yard is ensuring that I am available and ready to support everyone across the organisation; I believe that my door is always open, and I will help any of my colleagues in any way I can – I work for all Yardies, not the other way round.
I was so surprised at some of the thoughts and emotions brought out across the day, and those which continue. What a lucky person I am to have the luxury of attending such a day and having the opportunity to remind ourselves of who we are, and how we feel.