Striving for excellence means that you are not satisfied with achieving just enough, but want to aim for more than what is expected of you. You take ownership of your own development and strive to improve through training and learning and, where possible, help others to improve and develop too.

This can be summarised as:

  • Using your initiative to achieve higher
  • Taking responsibility to make positive changes
  • Saying ‘yes!’ instead of ‘no’
  • Showing enthusiasm in your work
  • Contributing to the Oxford brand
  • Raising the bar
  • Striving for continuous improvement

What can you do?

If you would like to implement this value yourself, the following points may help if you’re not already doing this. Discuss your training and learning requirements with your manager. Observe your colleagues’ behaviour: Who is successful? What could you do differently to get better results? Is there anyone else you could help, mentor or coach?

Maintain an enquiring mind and attention to detail even with routine tasks.


Examples of ‘Excellence’ in Finance

The following are examples of excellence within Finance and should help you and your team adopt this value:

  • We should all strive for this and aim at getting things right first time. As all our financial reporting is produced manually in Excel, it is important that we ensure the small detail is correct as well as the numbers, because spelling mistakes, poor layout, lack of commas and late submissions make our work look sloppy. This in turn will lead sponsors to think that the research may not be the best. We always need to sell the University’s product as being excellent which in turn will result in more research.
  • Attention to detail in the Payments team leads to continuous improvement in invoice processing and payments.
  • Ownership of a problem or issue occurs in the Credit Control team with a persistence to resolve customer queries.