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Our story

It all started with a boat. One professional sailor, one HR manager and an organisational coach two enthusiasts took a group of entrepreneurs on the water to stimulate links between them.

It’s lonely being an entrepreneur

So many struggles in your head. When you share them, you find so many have those struggles too – you can even find ways together to solve them.

The boat ride was a great success! We landed on a sandbank and talked the whole night through, taking walks in the middle of the sea. Many who were there talk about it as one of the best days they have ever had. For us, this adventure provided a blueprint for a hundred more.

Because connection can be hard.  But when you get it right, it feels like the easiest thing in the world. We realised we had found a way to bring diverse people together and let them find their own way to get to know each other. We set up the right situation, dialogue happens almost by itself.

Our idea was to take people on more boats, into forests, away from their usual routine so they could think more freely and talk more openly. &connect was born.

There was just one problem. One the whole world is still grappling with.

Lockdown meant a restricted life for all of us. Rapidly changed routines, balancing priorities, feeling of isolation and being overwhelmed.

Our business challenge in the face of all us this felt so very minor, and yet we felt with our expertise we could provide a small avenue of light.

Because, actually, we missed the office. We liked being with other people, finding out about others and being found out about. We liked jokes, we liked fun and mutual support. So we decided to do the best we could to create an office experience for everyone at home.

We called it ‘Sorry, but I actually miss the office’ box. We made a game, we put in a pot plant, a photo frame and organised ways for people to hang out, even if they are in diverse fields. We sold 2000 boxes within a few months for teams from diverse organisations as…,…and…

It turned out that our founding idea had many applications. We could create experiences for dialogue to happen, and where there were barriers to connection, we could provide support to get communication flowing.

After the boxes, requests started coming in for online dialogue sessions and coaching programmes for online and a group. And as lockdown began to ease, we could take people once again out on a boat.

Diverse Expertise

Marlies, Marchien and Lucas are respectively an HR professional an organisational consultant and a professional coach. We have a shared passion for getting the most out of others, but we have different ways to get there.

Marlies is a spotter and grower of talent. Marchien is dedicated discoverer of truth lurking behind words, Lucas takes on outsize challenges and learns how to get there on the way.

Because we see things differently, we are creative in our ways to support you. When there are differences we walk what we talk and … talk. There’s always a solution that one of us alone could not come up with. We generate a culture of openness for ourselves that when we work with you, we share.

In the end, business is about doing rather than talking, but getting dialogue right makes actions more co-ordinated, making it more likely you’ll please your customer. If you’re not persuaded yet, talk to us.


Ready to perform better? Give us a call!

Lucas Schröder
Partner &Connect