About the Author
Nikki Gatenby is a force to be reckoned with (in a good way).
She spent the first 12 years of her career experimenting with entrepreneurial ways of working across international teams in competitive digital agencies in London and Paris. She then brought her skills to the growing digital hub in Brighton, becoming MD of Propellernet eight years ago and, more recently, a co-owner.
During her time at Propellernet, Nikki has overseen its transformation from a small, Brighton-based digital marketing agency to a globally operating powerhouse. She has led a team that has tripled margin, quadrupled revenue and generated ten times more profit. And she has proved beyond all doubt that putting people first creates genuine business success.
Under her leadership, Propellernet has become known for its culture of inclusion, personal responsibility and creative freedom. It has been showcased for the way it works, as well as the work it does, by the BBC, the Guardian, Management Today, the Parliament Trust and the Chamber of Commerce. The company has had a top fifteen listing in the Great Place to Work® awards five years in a row and was voted one of the top five medium companies in Campaign’s Best Places to Work 2018. It also boasts one of the lowest staff turnover rates in the industry.
Nikki is known for combining a no-bullshit approach to business with a passion for helping people be the best version of themselves. When she’s not making life better for her staff, clients and community, she is usually to be found at the top of a mountain or the bottom of the ocean. But not at the same time.
A word from Henry Stewart - Chief Happiness Officer, Happy, and author of The Happy Manifesto
There are a lot of theory books out there about how to run an organisation. Fortunately, this is not one of them. It is a practical playbook, written by someone who has created one of the most exciting company cultures anywhere, packed with tips and advice on how to do it yourself.
Imagine a workplace where people are energised and motivated by being in control of the work they do, where they are trusted and given freedom, within clear guidelines, to decide how to achieve their results. Imagine they have managers who support and coach them, rather than telling them what to do. Wouldn’t you want to work there?
As Chief Happiness Officer of a company called Happy, my passion is for creating workplaces like these and indeed for creating joy at work. There is a stack of evidence that great cultures lead to improved productivity and better returns. And the benefits of this kind of approach reach far wider than the finance department.
That is why I was so excited to meet Nikki, a woman with real passion and energy for creating an environment in which her people are not just engaged, but superengaged. Not only because of the numbers, but also because it is the right thing to do.
Superengaged will explain how to create this kind of environment for yourself, as well as giving you plenty of ‘nickables’ to take away and action. I guarantee that you will be inspired by this book; you will be making notes as you read along and, if you put the ideas into practice, you will see dramatic changes in what your business and your people achieve.
I know from my own book, The Happy Manifesto, that ideas like these can make a difference. One CEO read it, implemented the ideas and came top of the Sunday Times Best Workplace list. Another saw their share price triple in the three years after they started putting the concepts to work.
Superengaged will have that kind of impact. Indeed, it will probably have far more. It will show you how to create a culture where people can not only fulfil their potential but fulfil their dreams – inside and outside of work.
That dream could be ending street homelessness in Brighton by 2020. Or supporting a safari company in Namibia. Or creating a weird alternative reality, including fake kidnappings, in the French Alps. Or putting on one of the most popular late-night experiences at Glastonbury.
You might ask, what does any of this have to do with the success of a marketing agency in Brighton? A hell of a lot, as it turns out. Superengaged shows the unexpected outcomes which come from putting people and purpose first, ranging from the increased motivation of those involved to the radical ideas inspired by tearing up the standard business blueprint.
So, do you want to create a truly great organisation, one that gets the best out of its people every single day, that you feel proud to be part of? Then read on.
I love these ideas. I love this book. Make sure you read it but, even more importantly, make sure you use the ideas. And then pass it on to somebody you want to inspire.