I’ve always seen my life as a series of stepping stones. Sometimes I stand in place, gaining momentum, gathering knowledge and drive and a whole lot of courage before leaping forward. Patience, however, is not in my DNA and standing still for any period of time is something I simply can’t do (well). So when something is broken, I like to fix it and some 15 years ago, work for me (personally) was broken and I needed to fix it.
So that’s how Get Organised started. A productivity company focused solely on helping humans work more effectively. Strip back complication, dig down to the root of an issue and find the simplest possible solution to move forward at work. The results were profound. We activated simple change with big results and pretty soon I found my team was growing, the potential was tangible, but our reach was limited and that just wouldn’t do. This was likely the time I met Claire (AKA: Rocketfuel).
Our first meeting was at a restaurant in Cape Town, by a beach with a view of the mountain. My feet dangling from the barstool, we wasted no time to get chatting about life and humans and work and the future. We spoke about shared challenges and visions and passions for making a difference. We argued and agreed and knew that there was so much more that needed to come to play after our brief initial encounter “that”day.
Fast forward a year or four and I guess we were both ready for another step forward. Claire having travelled from the UK to meet with me for a strategy session, arrived armed with a plan scribbled over a used paper napkin. While maybe I made up the bit about being ‘used’, the napkin still exists today, as does our plan to radically redesign the future of work by understanding how the world works. But it needed to start somewhere and that somewhere was our initial forward move from Get Organised to This is Productivity (TiP). A temporary shift from where we were, to where we needed to be.
But I know I’m making it sound easy, and if anything I understand deeply that change of any sort, regardless if it’s perceived as good or bad, brings about initial resistance and the immediate reaction to “run like hell”. September of that same year I found myself in a foreign coffee shop (literally foreign, I was in Dublin at the time) desperately trying to get hold of my psychologist friend to talk through what I believed to be my first pre-mid-life-midlife-crisis. After playing with our strengths and weaknesses (I really should opt for the more PC ‘areas of growth’), I found myself taking on a new role as co-founder of TiP and Chief Operating Officer (COO). WTF.
I needn’t have worried. Like a chameleon the role of COO is one that is constantly changing. My impatience plays perfectly to the juggle that’s required. My ability to stay calm under pressure and make quick decisions have played to my favour. Claire as CEO is the vision behind what we all steer and frankly, after a gritty revenue growth of over 200%, the timing couldn’t have been better to take another giant leap forward as we excitedly step into our new WNDYR shoes.
While reading through Claire’s post where she succinctly describes the details of our vision and the questions that guide our work, I am reminded that it’s thanks to our humans, and their ability to be human, that we’re actually able to traverse so nimbly (cliche but true).
5 of my best things about our team and how we play:
- we’re a team of 30, spanning 9 countries and more than 13 languages
- culture sharing and tolerance are big growth accelerators for us. Perhaps there is safety in the distance, but we have some pretty lively conversations across our chat streams (gif’s and emoji’s are our friend!)
- we all work remotely
- one of our team is a nomad. She’s just spent the last 3 months working from NZ. She inspires the rest of us to keep exploring. I think we’re all adventurers at core.
- most of us work from our home office. Despite not having to brave the morning traffic, one of our team described it as “I get to work from the best place.”
- you can develop a very deep and meaningful friendship with someone you’ve never met
- while we love our team incentive where we’ll all meet up in the flesh, we have a unique way of building strong relationships even though we never (seldom) get to share the same physical space.
- we encourage accountability and share a set of behaviours to drive each year to help us be better
- we’ll share more on our no bullshit guide in a future post
- we share
- one of our most popular chat channels is a shared space for reading. Despite access to a never-ending recommended reading list, you learn a lot about a person by what they read, this stream brings lots of our magic together
- our team care about their communities and the world at large. Despite long days that startups demand, our team make time to help and do good.
So let me just pause (for a moment) while admiring our magnificent new branding. I marvel on where we’ve been and am proud of where we are. Most importantly though, I’m excited for the future and quite honoured to be playing even the tiniest of parts (after seeing our new website images, I’ve even considered getting a tattoo!)