“Let My People Go Surfing” time patagonia

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#35 in the Green Goldfish Project – Patagonia

Taken from a post called, “Finding Success by Putting Company Culture First” by Diana Ransom:

patagonia green goldfish yvon choinard surfingPatagonia


Patagonia Inc., based in Ventura, Calif., attracts outdoorsy types with its athletic clothing brand and laser-like focus on work-life balance. Time away from the office isn’t just tolerated here, it’s required, says Rob BonDurant, Patagonia’s vice president of marketing and de facto culture guide.

Patagonia’s 1,300 employees enjoy what the company calls “Let My People Go Surfing” time — a period during any work day where employees can head outdoors to get their creative juices flowing. Of course, they can’t abandon their duties or ditch a meeting, but popping out for an impromptu climb or bike ride is encouraged.

Patagonia’s flex-time policies — which originated from Yvon Chouinard, an outdoor enthusiast who founded the company in 1974 — are good for employee morale and invaluable to the company, which projects $400 million in revenue in 2011, up from $333 million last year.

“The time we spend outside the office helps us manage the storytelling process around our products,” says Bon Durant, a 10-year Patagonia veteran and an avid mountain climber. “We’re designing ski and surfing apparel, we need to be traveling and trying things out.”

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here’s a Q&A with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard courtesy of the Scheinfeld Center:

The Green Goldfish Project is a quest to find 1,001 examples of marketing lagniappe for employees. A green goldfish is the little signature extras given to employees. They help differentiate a company, increase employee retention and drive positive word of mouth.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.

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