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Naomi Simson Steptember Dr Andrew Rochford

Launching Steptember, Tracey Jordan CPA, myself and Dr Andrew Rochford 2015


A bit of give – and you will also get..

I’m a big advocate of ‘win win’. However you might wonder how on earth walking during the month of September, or ‘Steptember’ as we call it, delivers so much more than you getting healthy and raising money for a great cause… what about this: it could in fact build the connectedness of teams at work.

I have been sharing with business leaders in recent speaking engagements how I (and others) see workplaces shifting and evolving. For some it will feel more like a revolution than an evolution:

What is needed in this shift, is connectedness; a critical component needed for any organisation to succeed, and for it to keep its employees engaged, and feel rewarded, despite the physical distance between them.

With connectedness comes an inextricable link to company values. You must bring your people on your journey with you, and allow them to truly share the values you stand for. Furthermore, you want your employees to hold you to account, and be passionate about your values as they now own them as well. This is based on a feeling of a deep sense of mutual respect. Susan Cooney, founder and CEO of Givelocity has built a reputation of adding value and community across many companies.

Guided by her mentor, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, who believed that finding common values among people and respecting these, is at the core of building a meaningful and successful culture.

At Givelocity, our mission is to give people the power to have greater impact through shared giving.

We believe by creating an online community that nourishes philanthropic themes among people we can create a more powerful ecosystem for giving. We also believe we have the means and capacity to solve the local and global challenges we face, by simply coming together and leveraging our collective resources.

We know that connectedness is also linked to performance. Connectedness may be one of the “defining attributes of the twenty-first century” with the rhetoric shifting from an emphasis on competition to partnerships.

Great businesses know what they stand for – at their core they live by shared values. More than that, I have found that as an employer, when I follow the five pillars of well-being as set out by the New Economic Forum I have seen a wonderful benefit to people’s ‘experience of work.’ I truly believed that if I looked after my people’s well being, they would have the energy and capacity to look after our customers. To this day, the Employee Experience team has wellbeing as one of its metrics for success – there are so many opportunities for people to participate; get involved and work with others in the community. It is true that employees respect leaders who take a positive stand in the community – this has a very positive effect on morale. Organisations participating in the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Steptember challenge tick four of the five elements of well-being: connection, fitness, recognition and giving. And I wholeheartedly encourage businesses to take up this wonderful initiative.

Okay so join with me to prove it. Just head to the registration page and make sure you enter Live What You Love as the Company name and use the code LWYL2015 to bypass the payment page.  The first 30 teams are free – these teams are worth $100, so don’t miss out. Don’t forget that Steptember has sold out for the past two years.So register now and make sure you don’t miss out on the fun.

Unfortunately the old adage “Every step counts” has become rather overused in our rhetoric – but it is true! In the month of Steptember each one of your steps does count – taking 10,000 steps per day for 28 days (and bringing friends, family and colleagues on the journey with you) will raise vital funds to help pay for equipment, therapy and research into groundbreaking treatments for cerebral palsy.

Naomi Simson is the founding director of Australian online tech success story RedBalloon and REDii. She has written more than 900 blog posts at, is a professional speaker, author of Live What You Love and is one of five “Sharks” on TEN’s business reality show Shark Tank to return in 2016.

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