As with many ideas, it started with a little voice in my head saying “surely there’s a better way to do this?” I’ve loved running creative and strategy workshops since my introduction to them as an Associate Strategist in London, many years ago, and I believe there’s immense power in bringing people together in a focused way to solve problems and move businesses forward. I once had a six week period in which I planned and ran twelve, and I’ve always had fun experimenting with different activities and changing the flow of the day to make sessions as enjoyable and effective as possible.
However, on this particular occasion I was participating, rather than facilitating. I’ll be honest, at the moment the little voice asked “surely there’s a better way to do this?” I was struggling to pay attention in the post-lunch slump. It was about 3pm, and looking around I saw that the rest of the attendees were either focusing on their laptops doing their own work, or were staring with slightly glazed eyes at the man presenting. A familiar scene, which is all too often the death of workshops.
For a long time, I’d been growing increasingly aware of how much my physical well-being impacted my productivity and creativity. My most focused days as a Strategy Director at Grey New York started with a workout, a big breakfast full of healthy fats, protein and some slow-release carbs, and continued with a couple of brisk walks outside and a light but energising lunch. My worst were when I skipped breakfast, fuelled up with caffeine on the way into the office, mindlessly gobbled something in front of my laptop and didn’t get any fresh air during the day. I had also noticed that the people who bragged about not needing sleep and sat guzzling diet coke all day tended not to get much done or even make a huge amount of sense in meetings (fun fact, not only does sleep deprivation negatively impact work performance, but it also makes you incapable of perceiving your own poor performance), whereas people who prioritised good sleep, good food and some exercise were sharp, efficient and the kind of person you wanted to be solving a problem with at 4pm on a Tuesday.
Corporate wellness is nothing new, but it tends to exist in a bubble within companies, and the working world in general just isn’t set up to help our bodies and brains work well. When we’re juggling a lot of tasks, our instinct is to opt for busy-ness rather than productivity, and any thoughts of wellbeing fly out the window. As such, people who want to feel good end up having to compensate for their unhealthy work lives outside of the office – literally balancing out work with life, rather than achieving balance throughout the whole.
We’re not going to solve all the problems of working culture, where busy-ness is mistaken for effectiveness, lack of sleep is worn as a badge of honour and caffeine and sugar are used to self-medicate energy levels. However, to go back to that workshop and my little voice asking “surely there’s a better way to do this?” the answer is yes, there is a better way, and that’s what Well & Truly Workshops is all about.
Once I’d asked myself the question of whether creative and strategic workshops could be run differently, I (being a nerd) started to read more around the topics of group work and nutrition, including the brilliant ‘The Art of Gathering’ by Priya Parker and ‘Eat. Nourish. Glow’ by Amelia Freer. This cemented my belief that my passion lies in bringing people together to creatively solve problems, and that to do so effectively I’d need a partner with a much better understanding of health, wellness and nutrition.
Fortunately for me, my best friend, sister and constant source of inspiration fits that description perfectly. Sarah was already working as a health coach and yoga teacher, and once I floated the idea with her it quickly went from an idea to a plan.
And that brings us to today. Well & Truly brings together the best of both our skill sets: my creative strategy and facilitation expertise acquired while working agency-side in London, Paris and New York, and Sarah’s ability to energise, inspire and focus a group through the right food, simple movements and breathing exercises. We couldn’t be more excited to share our company with the world. Our hope is that little by little we’ll show people that feeling well isn’t just a ‘nice to have’, it’s fundamental to unlocking the full potential of individuals and businesses, improving creativity, productivity and employee satisfaction and ultimately delivering on your business objectives.
We’d love to chat about how we could work together, so please do get in touch at email@example.com.