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Are You Playing by the Rules?

Blog post   •   Jul 25, 2012 13:39 BST

Here’s a question for you: what happens when following the rules means compromising your values?

No doubt you’re wondering why we even ask. Well, as the first official post on our blog we wanted to start right at the beginning, and for us that means starting with the values that drive our business.

We’ve been very lucky in many ways. As a company, we’re part of a wider Group that also believes strong values should be at the heart of any good business.  The Marshall Group’s most recent Values Booklet published earlier this year highlights four key areas:

  • Integrity & fairness
  • Putting customers first
  • Recognising that people drive success
  • Innovation & creativity

These are the fundamentals that underpin our organisation, and we aim to stick by them in everything we do. For us – and for our customers – this value-led approach is especially good news in a climate where so many questions are being asked about the ethics and behaviour of our business community and politicians. Some of them play by the rules; many of them don’t – but if they stuck to a stronger set of values, would we all be better off?

In business, there’s no doubt that organisational rules have their place. They promote order and efficiency. They offer structure. In most cases, rules are there to support a company’s values and the two can coexist in harmony. But here we come back to our original question: what happens when rules and values conflict? It’s inevitable that they will at some point. We’ve certainly been faced with this dilemma before. We’ve had customers come to us with scenarios that don’t conform to our usual way of doing things and at these times it’s easy to say ‘no’ – but we believe it’s our duty to try a bit harder. In our experience, once you ask yourself ‘What’s actually stopping me?’ then the possibilities start to open up and you suddenly find that you are being fair, you’re putting your customer first and – in many cases – you’re innovating as well. That’s a lot of value.

So we’re proud of the fact we live by our values – not just by the rules. When the game changes the rules become obsolete; it’s your values that will keep you on the right track no matter what lies ahead.

A copy of the Marshall Values booklet can be obtained by contacting Jonathan Ross at

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