Do good, do well and have fun doing it: the new sexy

You can do good and well at the same time. You can even have fun while doing it! It’s the new sexy (although becoming 40 is pretty sexy too).

A few months ago I did a speech for a crowd of executives about Special Olympics 2014, together with Evy, one of the athletes who inspired us for the new logo of the games. Special Olympics is one of those examples where we try to do good by doing well. We support the games with fundraising and with Herculean people helping them out.

During my speech I said something along the line like: “Come on guys, we all know we have been doing the wrong things in the past 10 years, time to change that right? Time to show our hearts and engage in good things! Special Olympics is ideal!” Magically they all stood up and started applauding!?! I didn’t anticipate that at all and I had a very hard time not to become very emotional on stage.

A few weeks ago we held the inaugural Hercules Trophy in Johannesburg at International Nelson Mandela Day (and Richard Branson’s birthday Smile). As you know, Madiba is our hero. The efforts of the SA Olympic Team and the Herculean efforts of the participating companies to do good were just mind-blowing. Everybody at that day new: we have started an amazing journey here. There was a lot of crying involved.

About 2 years ago I met a business leader who explained the concept of coops to me. I immediately new: this is the way forward. We started Herculean – the holding company of all Hercules Trophies – as a coop who wants to inspire fans all over the world to do good and well. No we are not going to go IPO – sorry Facebook, you really did the wrong thing – we are going to allow our fans to join the coop, think long term and change the world with us!

A few months ago Inge and her 2 sisters decided to start the Herculix Foundation as separate initiative to inspire our fans to bring social change through sports. They recently closed a partnership with Ammado to organise fundraisers through the Hercules Trophy teams. They support Randall’s Island Sport Foundation, Special Olympics 2014, International Nelson Mandela Day, Laureus Foundation The Netherlands and many many more to come in the next months.

We all have the power to bring change. We can all do good AND well. We are doing everything we can. Join us? Just do it.

Professional amateurs

30 years ago, only 25,000 Americans finished a Marathon. In 2009, 467,000 finished it. 10 years ago, climbing the Mont Ventoux by bike was for the innovators. Now everybody asks “How many times did you clime it in one day?” 30,000 amateurs at the 20 Miles of Brussels, 20,000 amateurs at Tour of Flanders, 50,000 amateurs at the Dubai Marathon, 68,000 amateurs at the JP Morgan Race in Frankfurt, …

Open door: Individual amateurs are looking for mass events to do sports and have fun! In the back of their mind, they all want to be heroes, like Emil Zatopek.

Fabulous!!! Individuals have discovered that doing sports is good for them. That comparing their results with others is motivating them. Companies have discovered that they can use sport to coach people in their daily job. That healthy people perform better. That good causes can be linked to those events.

I wouldn’t call that a trend though. These events have crossed the chasm, convinced the early majority, and the late majority is now discovering it.


So, what’s next? In my opinion the most important trend in this area for the next years is: Collaborative Competition.

All the events mentioned above, focus on the individual. They focus on nurturing the ego.

When you look at the real world, it’s changing from an individualistic world, to a collaborative, community-driven world. A world were hyperconsumption is not done. Where ethics are high on the agenda. Where authenticity is back. A global world where people care about nature, not just their own short-term profit. A world where people start sharing again. Where new cooperative structures will see the light of day. Where family values make a difference. You get the picture right?

You don’t feel comfortable with that thought? Don’t worry and don’t be scared because it’s a good thing. It just hasn’t crossed the chasm yet and you are probably in the group of pragmatists or conservatives. Nothing wrong with that. It will take a few more years before it will hit you, but it’s inevitable.

Don’t believe me? Just look at what’s going on everywhere in the world at extremely rapid speed and think again…

How do you know if something crossed the chasm? I tend to use the general writing press or TV as a barometer. When they start to talk about it (first in a patronising tone and later more seriously), it means the late majority has discovered it.

So, in a few years from now, it will all be about doing sports with teams in a collaborative competition. Call me an early adopter surrounded by innovators. Until then, we are happy to welcome over 8,000 corporate people in teams on Hercules Trophies all over the world. You guys rock, you’ll change the world into a better place, because you are without any doubt innovators and early adopters! Kudos!!! CU soon!