There’s a new type of business starting to make waves that is set to challenge the traditional employment model for brands and businesses worldwide. The lifestyle-business, as it’s known, is a company created with flexibility to suit the schedules, personal needs and lifestyles of its team members. More and more companies, large and small, are seeing the value in adopting this model.
Carel Nolte, our chief señor, started CN&CO with a certain structure (or non-structure, to be more precise) to ultimately suit and serve the lifestyles of the team.
Carel spent some time in studio with Poppy at 5FM on Monday 5 October chatting about all things lifestyle-business and how this business model is on the rise. He touched on a variety of themes under the lifestyle-business banner, including: on-demand working; work-life integration; how travel fits into the model; and how schools in South Africa (and around the world) can adapt their teaching models to better equip children to get into a lifestyle-business mode when they enter the working world.
“Empowering children, teaching them about discipline, and instilling confidence in them, are all steps that can be taken to enable the skill set they will need to become a lifestyle employer,” he said.
For Carel, lifestyle-businesses should be all about people. “In fact, all businesses are about people – and most companies say that people are their most important asset. That said, it is important to recognise that people lead different lifestyles and work at their best under different circumstances.
“Some people are early birds, some are night owls. Some like to work 9-5, others 18 hour days. Others work best in an office, some in a coffee shop, some sitting in their underwear at home. Businesses need to adapt their models to best serve their people, and in return, they will get the best from their people.”
Carel adds that lifestyle employers should be very clear with themselves and others on the outputs required, and then let employees (and the employer) get on with it.
“Micro-managing is for the birds. Why keep a dog and bark yourself? If you trust people and empower them, they normally rise to the challenge – delivering great results. Treat people with respect and they will deliver. Expect more and you get more. Give more and you will get more.”
Carel advocates that lifestyle employers should hold on to the people in their teams “lightly, not tightly”.
“If you try to control people you’re not only being patronising, you also won’t get the best from them. By supporting, guiding, challenging and influencing, you get amazing results. Holding on tightly takes more time, more effort and is generally less successful.”
Listen to a few exerpts from the interview below: