The Fairytale of Fosbury & Sons: A new way of working
With the name Fosbury & Sons they already gave an implicit indication that the bar is high, but that their baby would grow so fast, Stijn Geeraets and Maarten Van Gool could never have imagined. Maarten Van Gool, our co-CEO, gives a refreshing vision of leadership and Fosbury & Sons as a brand for wholeful work.
A stylish fairytale
The fairytale of Fosbury & Sons starts barely four years ago, when dynamic thirty-something Stijn Geeraets and Maarten Van Gool bundle their work frustrations and energy into a concept with which they want to give work a whole different look. “Stijn was struggling with ‘office frustration’ and I also had already discovered that work can be an energy consumer. While many stop at expressing their frustrations, we came up with an attractive alternative: from the objective observation of how it should not be done, we went to work full of energy. The concept is simple: we bring the vibe from the places where people want to be - such as theater, hotel or restaurant - to the workplace, the place where they have to be.” And so it began. The Antwerp kick-off in the WATT tower was the flying start of the fantastic formula that is conquering at home and abroad.
"We bring the vibe from the places where people want to be - such as theater, hotel or restaurant - to the workplace, the place where they have to be."
From strong leader to strong leadership
Maarten Van Gool has a nomination for Antwerp Young Entrepreneur 2020 in its pocket. You may ask yourself… What’s his secret recipe?
“There is none: the way I am an entrepreneur is an extension of my innate and learned urge to be entrepreneurial. It certainly plays a part that I come from an entrepreneurial family: my grandfather founded a successful slaughterhouse, which had a prominent place in my youth. He taught me to be flexible and to work hard. As a head leader at Chiro, I discovered my talent for tackling things; I learned to think, try and correct quickly. This dynamic of thinking, feeling, doing and pivoting is also my driving force as an entrepreneur. I am convinced that there is a need for a different approach to leading an organization. At Fosbury & Sons, we believe much more in strong leadership with the group than in a strong leader of that group, and that undercurrent of employees helps determine dynamism and identity. We consciously try to use the maximum potential of the group: the wisdom and strength of the team ensure resilience.”
The weapon of a clear and widely supported policy
In addition to fear, Covid-19 also provides a positive note: the harder you attack human resistance, the more persistent the resilience is. Maarten sees a parallel with entrepreneurship. “Because we scale very quickly at Fosbury & Sons, we also have to switch quickly. Every day new obstacles cross our path and in that sense entrepreneurship is a struggle that forces us to give the best of ourselves. The higher goal of Fosbury & Sons is deltaWQ: delta stands for the Difference, W is Work and Q is the Quality of life. We want to make a positive difference by making an essential contribution to a better quality of life in the working environment. Warm values are the powerful engine to achieve that higher goal: humanity, together, elegance and joie de vivre are central to our story and everything we do must match those values.”
"We want to make a positive difference by making an essential contribution to a better quality of life in the working environment."
Flexibility and functionality, even after a crisis
“We constantly pivot from tensions. The corona crisis is a structural tension, forcing companies worldwide to willingly leave the traditional office, something Fosbury & Sons did of its own accord years ago. We hope that many companies come to the conclusion that this way also works and willingly takes a different approach after the crisis. We will certainly respond to this renewed demand with formulas that other companies phenomenal and flexible functionality within an affordable budget. More and more companies will realize that a team of 50 employees no longer needs an office of 500m2. Fosbury & Sons can guarantee flexible facilities to maximize the profitability of a productive team. And this is how we, as a strong brand, kill two birds with one stone: Fosbury & Sons offers an unbeatable value for money, a wonderful working environment that is multifunctional and operational in every way.”