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“It’s Like Coming Home"


A chat with Mathias Brenner, Co-founder and CGO at Sherpany.



a picture and role description of a team leader


As we start our online call with Mathias I am slightly more self conscious than usual, knowing that Sherpany, the company he co-founded, specialises in making meetings more efficient and productive. 

I relax when I learn from Mathias that their SAAS focuses on 1000+ large enterprises and companies. I am off the hook.




A DISTRIBUTED COMMUNITY 


For a company that has been remote by default from day one, way ahead of the pandemic trend, and that keeps on growing (150 people today across 6 offices in Europe and team members all over the world from Jakarta to Brazil) team retreats quickly became a no brainer. It was the best way to give face to face time to people who had been working together for months online. 


The fact that we have several people telling us “I feel like I have known you forever” even though they are technically meeting in real life for the first time is a testament to our culture. 

That culture, Sherpany, has been shaping it since day one. Aware that to attract the best talent as a startup they had to provide a great environment to thrive in as part of their EVP. 


A sense of belonging and identification, like common languages and symbols as well as shared history and participation are some of the essential components of creating a sense of community. By calling their team members ”Sherpanees” and taking them on regular gathering adventures, they are doing just that. 



a screenshot of the Career page of a company



THIS MUST BE THE PLACE: FINDING TWV


As a young company which wants to challenge the norm it made total sense for Sherpany’s leadership team to look for unusual retreat locations. 


TWV being different is exactly why we want to go there. The rooms being all different and a bit quirky, the vegetarian and local food… that is what attracts us, the non traditional way of doing things.

What could be seen by some as a cons, the relatively remote location of the village, was actually a great plus for the Sherpany team. It was a way to keep the team among themselves instead of having every scattering around at night in a large city. 



outside a beautiful old building in an italian village



ROUTINE & RHYTHMS



Since 2015, Sherpany has been taking the entire company on a retreat every second year. Every other year is dedicated to each teams going somewhere together. And since 2023, the sales team takes 3 days every quarter for the “MidQ Sales Boost”. And since 2023, the sales team has been coming to The Workation Village. 


Some companies like the novelty of a new location each time.  At Sherpany, the focus was to get out of the ordinary routine (at the [home] office), while not losing time for acclimatisation at each retreat. That way, the 3 day retreat can be essentially focused on work and deep connections. When the team arrives for the second time, they already know how it works, where things are, and it starts feeling like a second home as some sherpanes have started to call TWV. It also helps in keeping a rhythm and a sense of safety that helps people dare to challenge themselves more…



two colleagues working on their computers in leather armchairs
It feels like Home



SMALL DISCOMFORT CAN CREATE POWERFUL STORIES


Their last visit was just a few weeks ago in February. Even in Italy the temperatures can drop a bit. But when I ask Mathias about the challenges of choosing an old Italian village castle as a retreat location he laughs. It is not so much a challenge, he says, “I see it as a way to create stories”. 


For Mathias, the “slight discomfort” like wearing a pair of socks to bed, or eating vegetarian for three days (for some people), are ways to bring people even closer together, as they share an experience beyond work. It encourages opportunities for vulnerability that would not have been possible in the “comfort” of our own “home” offices. 


Towards the end of our chat, I am reassured that we’ll see Sherpany’s sales team again as Mathias shares that at the end of their last visit, a colleague asked him to make sure she would get the same bed next time.



 


Thank you to Mathias for taking the time out of a busy schedule to answer our questions and share his anecdotes and to the whole Sherpany Sales team for their trust! It’s always a pleasure to have you at TWV.

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