Don’t Just Let Your People Go Surfing…

Summer 2023

We’re seeing the battle lines emerge between businesses that think work and life are separate things; the businesses that talk to you about work-life balance, but do nothing to help you achieve it, and those that will instead, offer you a job that asks a huge amount of you, but simultaneously enhance your life in so many ways.

This divide is presenting itself in many different ways, but one of the simplest examples is where and how a business asks you to work. The future-focused business says: work wherever you like and be incredible wherever and whenever you need –  they focus on impact. And before anyone reading this says “but this can’t work for our business because…”  I’m sure you’re right, but it doesn’t matter what I think, it matters what your most talented people, and the ones you’ll never be able to reach, think.

The most talented people have the capability to revolutionise your business, leaving a massively positive dent in the universe. But they have more freedom, flexibility, and choice than ever before, so if you want them to choose to work with you, then create a culture that they want to choose!

One of the ways we do that is by authentically living our values. The vast majority of businesses either make up values that they think sound good to shareholders, or worse, hire a management consultancy team to make them up for them. Instead, we built the business and team that we wanted, subsequently labelling / codifying  those behaviours that ensure what we do is hugely impactful and, just as importantly, fun!

We are about the environment, impact, and adventure. The important distinction from most businesses is that we live those values, built a team and culture around those values, and then wrote those values down.

In life (and business) authenticity and consistency are so important. As soon as you say one thing and do another you create a say-do gap. If you open a say-do gap your credibility, and the confidence of your team will disappear immediately, and you’ll have to work incredibly hard in hopes of getting it back.

As a completely remote team founded and formed in this way, we have learnt to manipulate time and space to create opportunities to live and reinforce our culture: environment, impact, and adventure. Whereas traditional business viewed time in the office as culture forming, I always challenged this perspective since I don’t believe all time is equal. It’s the shared experiences, challenges, and adventures that offer so much more to building friendships, improving relationships, and defining culture.

It was for this very reason that we recently invited the entire team to take a trip to the Oostvaardersplassen region of the Netherlands to experience conservation at scale, witnessing the impact of what a group of innovative and passionate individuals could achieve for people and wildlife, and in the process, share an incredible adventure together! This is how we do learning and development – it’s about shared experiences that reinforce our core values of environment, impact, and adventure.

The most talented people don’t want to go to boring training courses, they don’t want soulless award ceremonies, they don’t want corporate hospitality anymore, they don’t want to glorify consumption or waste time away from their friends and families.

Our team wants to focus on the environment, impact, and adventure – so that’s what we do.

What does your team want?

P.S. give it to them or someone else will – we’re recruiting!


Rich Stockdale
Founder & Managing Director