Bountiful Cow team in Palma

Collaboration culture helps challenger agency bring transparency to advertising

Bountiful Cow co-founder Henry Daglish shares the journey of founding a fully-transparent challenger media agency. Learn about what they’re working on with us at PlanetK2 to ensure everyone at Bountiful Cow are performing at their optimum and the impact its having.

The beginning

From the moment we set up Bountiful Cow as a fully-transparent, challenger media agency we knew we could only perform at our best if we could instil our collaboration culture in our people.

There is no way we could take on the entrenched giants in advertising with our fairer way of working collaboratively with clients without our people understanding our ethos. We are an inherently an entrepreneurial business, and with that comes the responsibility of autonomy and a requirement to trust and develop our own and each other’s performance. We needed to help people assess, understand and optimise their best way of working.

My many years in advertising had shown that it has become, at best, an opaque business where shady practices had started to directly undermine trust, autonomy and freedom within the work place. With so many things going on the only way to operate had to be one of command and control with few people having the full picture of how the business actually made its money. We’re here to change that. We’re different, we’re open, and provide a true alternative for our people and our clients.

We were spun out of our sister agency, the7stars, and both agencies are dedicated to 100% transparency. We only ever earn money from clearly-defined fees and we act only in the interest of clients.

In fact, we’re so dedicated to being straight with clients we both remain the only two agencies who have fully signed up to a transparency code written up by ISBA, the trade body for British advertisers, as well as welcoming independent, third-party verification of our practices.

Collaboration culture

I’ll be honest, it’s a risk. We’re taking a punt on brands wanting to make the effort to work with their agencies in a more transparent way, to collaborate in a mutually beneficial partnership, where both parties work in each other’s interests only. Collaboration is crucial with our clients – we expect them to be as interested in our own business’ success as we are in theirs.

We’re also backing ourselves on companies being willing to pay for a premium planning and buying service dedicated to their needs, rather than operating a team structure that built up with planning costs wrapped within a single commission structure.

It’s exciting to be a challenger but it’s also a great risk. The only way we were ever going to stand a chance of succeeding was to get our people fully involved with our raison d’être because it is such a different approach. We had to instil our culture of collaboration in all our people and then find a way to keep their eyes firmly fixed on the prize and empower them to always perform at their very best. For this we turned to PlanetK2.

We didn’t want to stand with a big whip in a corner and drum in to people that they have to keep hitting targets. This has to be a culture where we obsess on the performance not the results. If we get the performance right the results will come. We want our people to have accountability. As much as we want to take them with us, we want them to take us along too. Nobody wants to work in an organisation where they don’t have a strong sense of control, confidence and connectedness.  We want to hire and inspire the best talent in the industry and we want them to love working here so we retain the cream of the crop.

Expert help

Working with PlanetK2 we’ve managed to do this. We have an accountable team built around authenticity in which we hone our performance to adapt to each client’s needs so we can nurture and develop trusting relationships.

A good example was a recent trip to Palma organised by Planet K2. It was a lot of fun but was hugely helpful too for our people to go through the Athlete at Work® programme. It helped us all understand how we are all responsible for our performance at work and how even seemingly small gains can make a huge difference.

It worked well alongside the leadership training and performance days we’ve been taking part in. Ultimately, it means we’ve been helped to both shape our culture and embed it in our people so they understand more fully why Bountiful Cow has been set up, the values and purpose at our core and what we are setting out to achieve.

Gaining traction?

Financially, the proof this is working is a start-up agency which had no clients a year ago transparently billing £15m in its first year. Nearly a third of this came from performance-related payments.

In terms of industry recognition, we’re the fastest agency ever to be recognised by industry body, the IPA, and we’ve been shortlisted for nine major awards, winning three. Among these we recently became the first start-up agency to be shortlisted for the prestigious Campaign Agency Team of the Year award.

Working with PlanetK2 helped us instil our culture and make sure our people are always primed, ready to be at the top of their game and taking charge of their own destiny. All of which are vital elements for us as an agency built on trust, transparency and inherently doing the right thing for our sole source of income – our clients.

Helen Glover photo credit James Mcnaught

Introducing Helen Glover MBE – our newest PlanetK2 ambassador

We’re delighted and excited to announce our newest PlanetK2 ambassador – Helen Glover MBE.

As a professional rower and a member of the Great Britain rowing team, Helen is a truly inspiring high performer from the elite sport arena.

Helen is ranked the number one female rower in the world since 2015, is two time Olympic champion and gold medal winner, triple world champion quintuple World Cup champion and triple European champion.

As of June 2016, Helen and her rowing partner Heather Stanning are the World, Olympic, World Cup and European record holders, plus the reigning Olympic, World and European champions in the women’s coxless pairs.

In 2013, Helen was awarded an MBE for her services to rowing and is recently reining champion of the BBC’s Olympic Superstars. She’s even been awarded a Blue Peter gold badge!

We’re thrilled that to be working closely with Helen and sharing her insights and experience in the world of high performance with you. 

Working with PlanetK2

“I first met Chris (Shambrook) from PlanetK2 when he was working as my psychologist on the GB Rowing team.

I’m really pleased to become an ambassador for PlanetK2, sharing my experience and expertise as an elite athlete into the world of high performance.

There’s so many things that I’ve used and developed, that can be applied into every day challenges we all face, to help people thrive in what they do and become the best they can be.”

Helen Glover 2018

Working with Helen Glover

“Helen is truly a world great when it comes to high performance. I’m thrilled we have the opportunity to work with her.

At PlanetK2, we help the world to think, prepare and perform like elite athletes. We’ll be bringing that to life for our members and customers, both online and in real life, with Helen. Watch this space!”

Chris Shambrook 2018

What’s coming up next?

We’ll be delving into the detail with Helen over the coming months, taking you through high performance topics such as:

  • Motivation
  • Practice
  • Confidence
  • Competition

We’ll be gaining an understanding of what we can learn from Helen, as an elite athlete and gold medal winner, about being ready to perform for the moments that matter.

There will be lots of inspiration and learning that can be put straight into action for work, rest and play.

Don’t forget to check out our content exclusives with Helen Glover and Chris Shambrook coming soon over on The Performance Room 

Stay tuned into to hear more news about what Helen and PlanetK2 are up to this year.

If there’s something you’d like to ask Helen, if you’d like her to speak at your event sharing high performance expertise, or if you’re a customer and would like to inspire your team – get in touch!

*Helen Glover blog cover image from Helen’s Instagram account – photo credit James McNaught

PerformanceFest Lounge 2018

Highlights from PerformanceFest Lounge 2018

What do an acclaimed actor, a bomb disposal expert, two globally successful musicians and an outstanding emergency medicine consultant have in common? 
When it comes to high performance, we discovered its quite a lot!

If you’ve been following us on social media, you might have seen excited coverage of our very first PerformanceFest Lounge event.

We had an incredible afternoon decoding high performance. As the audience arrived and took their seats, with beers and popcorn to settle into the show, we kicked off with cinematic style at The Soho Hotel screening room in London, UK.


Here’s our highlights so far – theres more to come! #watchthisspace

What were your favourite moments?

#PerformanceDecoded at PerformanceFest Lounge 2018

Diverse Performance Arenas

Danny Sapani (Actor – Star Wars, Black Panther, The Crown) kicked off the afternoon with a breathtaking snippet of theatre, he literally showed us how he ‘stops the air’. Then Dr. Chris Shambrook took to the stage and asked the questions to our expert panel of performers.

After Danny’s performance and insights, we moved into the world of bomb disposal, hearing from Lloyd Davies (Bomb disposal expert) about performance under pressure and what its like to stay ready for critical moments during lengthy preparation periods.

Next up was Dr. Tom Evens (Emergency medicine consultant) who gave us a fascinating insight into performance under pressure when saving lives – how to get ready for critical decision making and seamless team work when it matters most.

We then moved from the world of emergency medicine into the world of globally acclaimed musicians, hearing from Dan Rothman (Guitarist and co-founder, London Grammar) and Hannah Reid (Lead singer and co-founder, London Grammar). We heard what its like to be on tour and challenges they’ve faced in the past that could affect on-stage performance. We also how they are preparing differently for performances coming up this year.

The audience were superbly engaged and as Emma Sapani our host, moved us into a panel Q&A, the audience got the opportunity to ask their own questions and talk to the performers – taking the learning and insight to the next level of #PerformanceDecoded.

A huge success

We’ve raised £10,000 for Children on the Edge – a huge thanks to everyone involved in PerformanceFest Lounge 2018 for making this possible! 

The extra funds will help train refugee teachers and educate 100+ children in tent schools for up to two years in Rohingya.

If you’d like to find out more or donate to the project yourself, do visit their website – Children on the Edge – Rohingya project

There will be more…

Who would you like to see onstage next time? What performance arenas would you like to be inspired by?

Get in touch with us if you’d like to know more, or are interested in coming along to the next one! 

Working with Make it Cheaper, to make it happen

We’ve been working with the great people at Make it Cheaper to bring the PerformanceFest Lounge 2018 to life. They made it possible for the event to take place and they nominated Children on the Edge as charity partner. We’re delighted to have worked with them.

Supporting Children on the Edge

Children on the Edge makes a difference for thousands of marginalised children, who are living on the edge of their societies around the world. Many are without parental care, neglected or persecuted by their own governments, ignored by the international media and missed by large overseas agencies.

Working in partnership with local communities, they help create safe, child friendly environments. They support over 10,000 children to realise their rights, and they restore the ingredients of a full childhood through the generation of hope, life, colour and fun.

Their work today includes delivering education to Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh, Syrian refugees in Lebanon, working inside Kachin state in the midst of a civil war, helping ‘untouchable’ Dalit communities in India and working in Ugandan slums tackling child sacrifice.

PerformanceFest Lounge 2018

An acclaimed actor, a bomb disposal expert, a globally successful musician and an outstanding emergency medicine consultant all walk into a cinema…
This, is going to be a unique event.

All brought to you by Make it Cheaper, the money saving experts.

For one balmy afternoon only, there’s an exclusive opportunity to hear from four amazing performers.

They’ll talk about how they do what they do, in conversation with a world class performance psychologist.

Then, the audience will get the chance to ask them whatever they want.

The line-up:

Danny Sapani
Actor – Star Wars, Black Panther, The Crown

Dan Rothman
Musician – guitarist and co-founder, London Grammar

Lloyd Davies
Army bomb disposal – defusing situations

Dr. Tom Evens
Emergency medicine consultant – keeping people alive

Dr. Chris Shambrook
Psychologist – asking the questions

A unique opportunity

Audience members will:

  • Gain a unique set of insights into how amazing performers get themselves ready to do what they do.
  • Inspiration for bringing that to life in your world and your organisation.
  • Have the chance to ask questions to get under the skin of great performance in different arenas, up close and personal.
  • Get to have Ice cream, pick’n’mix & beer. In separate containers.

Get in touch with us if you’d like to know more, or are interested in coming along

Or book your PerformanceFest Lounge 2018 tickets today!

Supporting Children on the Edge

All net proceeds from the PerformanceFest Lounge 2018 will go to our charity partner for the event, Children on the Edge.
We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to support this incredible charity – thanks to Make it Cheaper and our up-coming event audience, for making it all possible.

Children on the Edge makes a difference for thousands of marginalised children, who are living on the edge of their societies around the world. Many are without parental care, neglected or persecuted by their own governments, ignored by the international media and missed by large overseas agencies.

Working in partnership with local communities, they help create safe, child friendly environments. They support over 10,000 children to realise their rights, and they restore the ingredients of a full childhood through the generation of hope, life, colour and fun. 

Their work today includes delivering education to Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh, Syrian refugees in Lebanon, working inside Kachin state in the midst of a civil war, helping ‘untouchable’ Dalit communities in India and working in Ugandan slums tackling child sacrifice.

Working with Make it Cheaper, to make it happen

We’ve been working with the great people at Make it Cheaper to bring the PerformanceFest Lounge 2018 to life. They are making it possible for the event to take place, have nominated Children on the Edge as charity partner and we’re delighted to be working with them.

Team LifeReady – Aids Lifecycle 2018

In our quest to share our human performance expertise and do some good in the world where we can, this year we’re supporting Team LifeReady, sponsoring and coaching the team as they prepare for Aids LifeCycle 2018 – our very own Keith Hatter is even off to be their roadie for the event!

A complete human performance challenge

Aaron, Dan, David and Dock, the PlanetK2 Team LifeReady, are based in San Francisco. They are fundraising, training and preparing right now, for the AIDS Lifecycle event in June 2018.

The team will be cycling 545 miles, from San Francisco to LA, through some of California’s beautiful countryside, fundraising for AIDS/HIV related services, research and awareness, still critical to many parts of our society.

The event is a complete human performance challenge, for each individual as well as the team as a whole. At PlanetK2, we love these.

Here’s a snapshot of 2017 Aids LifeCycle event, to see what’ll be coming up for the team.

A life less ordinary

At PlanetK2, we love supporting great businesses and great people get even better at what they do.

We’re proud to support and work with the LifeReady team – long term friends of our business, doing an extraordinary event, stepping out of their personal comfort zones and raising funds for a great cause. Find out more about Team LifeReady in the start of their vlog series on The Performance Room.

We have been given the unique opportunity to support the whole team, as well as each member individually. We’ll be helping them get superbly performance ready for the event. To think, prepare and perform like elite athletes.

Follow the journey

We get to follow and support the teams’ journey before, during and after the AIDS Lifecycle 2018 event.

This is too good for us and our customers, friends and colleagues to miss – so stay tuned over the coming months, we’ll be sharing the teams’ individual and collective purpose, their motivations, their training highs and lows.

You’ll get to follow their human performance journey and we’ll share our collective learning.

If you’re inspired to start following the journey and support the fundraising efforts of the LifeReady team:

The sideways route to success!

Chris-VollerChris Voller, formerly AXA Insurance UK Claims Director and a PlanetK2 Hall of Famer. He’s always been committed to helping his people grow.

People don’t normally associate ‘sideways moves’ with success. It’s usually seen more as an interruption on the pathway to greater things. Sometimes a sideways move might even be a negative, indicating that you’ve peaked and upwards is no longer an option. But sideways moves can involve growth and development, and be an opportunity to fuel your motivation and performance readiness. So it’s worth rethinking about how we see “sideways moves” – as individuals, as leaders and as organisations.

Development happens in many ways!

In an ideal world, everyone would keep raising their performance levels and the way organisations invest in talent programmes and development opportunities reinforces that there’s a pretty fixed view of how promotions happen.

If we think about a lot of people who have thrived and gone on to great things, in many instances it’s been the experiences they’ve been thrown into, outside of formal talent programmes that have significantly helped them to grow, as well as demonstrate greater potential than has previously been seen. So, if we want learning and development, maybe it’s time to think more flexibly about how to stimulate it!

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All present? Presenteeism in the workplace

We were reading about presenteeism in the workplace this week. Presenteeism, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, is showing up for work without being productive, usually because you’re poorly or unfit to work in some way. Apparently it’s now viewed as more widespread and problematic by businesses than absenteeism.

It’s an issue for several reasons – it’s linked to more sick leave in the long term, lower productivity levels, and it’s an indication of a culture where employees feel like they can’t be absent from work because of overwhelming workloads, or worse, how it’s judged if they take an illness day.

Performance geeks that we are, we started thinking about presenteeism from a high performance angle. Here are some thoughts that we wanted to share with you…

Being performance ‘unready’

If presenteeism is about being unproductive at work, that infers, to us at least, that you’re not feeling ready to perform – you’re not feeling physically, mentally or emotionally ready. Or perhaps you’ve not done the things you need to do to be ready to perform. You’re performance ‘unready’ – and often (not always, but often) that’s because you’ve not chosen to do some things that you could have done to prepare and be ready.

It’s like to an Olympic athlete turning up to training without having prepared right – without the right kit, without the right mindset, or having been out the night before so they’re not fully rested. Actions and avoidable choices with a clear performance impact.

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Making high performance part of your business culture

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 09.32.04Jo Webb is an independent HR consultant who specialises in supporting businesses through culture change. Jo was formerly European HR Director at The Marketing Store where she led their high performance culture change programme. We had the privilege of working with Jo on this project, and for us, she’s someone who truly understands high performance and how to embed it in the culture of a business.

There’s a lot of aspirational talk about high performing cultures right now but even when organisations do decide to go down that road, all too often it’s rolled out as a stand-alone initiative rather than being integrated into the entire business strategy.

A true high performance culture provides a company with its single greatest source of competitive advantage but fewer than 10 percent of companies actually succeed in creating such a culture.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to set up a ‘high performance’ programme as a separate initiative – lead by HR and perhaps one or two performance focused people in the business, but crucially not embraced by all leaders and certainly not united with overall business strategy and performance.

So, how should it be done?

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Festive survival

Sing along with me please… “I wish it could be Christmas Everyday…”



Every day?

Imagine it… We’d all be enormous! Excessive food, too much to drink, not enough sleep… all a bit tough for people who are keen to keep performing well through December and into the new year.

Just stop for a moment and think… if everyone in the UK gains an average of just one pound over the next month, then our small island will have to handle over 4 million stones more weight in the early part of 2013 – surely we’ll sink!

Perhaps it’s not global warming that’s causing the floods?

Fear not though, I’ve got three helpful festive survival tips that will accentuate the positives and eliminate the negatives at this wonderful, but slightly challenging, time of year…

Tip One – Choose fun!
Relax, let your hair down and have fun (you’ve been told!!).

Elite performers find time for relaxation and for celebrating successes. Enjoyment is a part of any well-rounded health plan. If your efforts to be healthy are all painful, uninteresting and erode the joy in your life, then I don’t really see the point!

If it’s a choice between being either happy and unhealthy, or being unhappy and healthy, then please pick happiness – EVERY TIME – life’s too short to live healthy then die miserable! However, if feeling unhealthy also makes you unhappy, then surely that’s got to be an especially poor choice?!

Here at K2, we’d rather you were both happy AND healthy – that’s our goal… to help you feel great, have fun and be at your best!

What’s your choice for the next few weeks? Will you choose to be happy AND to be healthy?

Please make a choice – but bear in mind that if being unhealthy is going to make you unhappy, then start taking some steps now that will stop this from happening. What can you do to give yourself the best chance of being happy over the next few weeks? Where and how does being healthy fit into this?

Tip Two – Earn it!
What do I mean? Well, if you can do a couple of the things that feel righteous, virtuous and healthy, then you’ve perhaps earned the right to take the pressure off the healthy eating and exercise plan for a while. If nothing else, by balancing out a few of the less healthy behaviours with a couple of slightly more healthy things then you’ll slip back less than if everything starts to slide. You might not perform at your best over Christmas, but at least if you minimise the damage, you’ll be in a better place to start 2013! Here’s a couple of practical ideas…

1. Eat the tangerine from your Christmas stocking first rather than the chocolate! Surely you can manage that? Even if you don’t get a stocking… think about the principle!

2. Super-size on the vegetables and/or salad at every meal. Yes, we really are giving you permission to eat more of some things.

3. Remember, turkey sandwiches are actually quite good for you, especially on wholegrain bread, with salad and without the dressings!

4. Take a post lunch walk every day – even if it’s to the pub and back!! Staying active, even just a little more active, will help you stave off the worst consequences of the seasonal excess (it also keeps your conscience and driving licence clean!). This will also get you out in the small amount of daylight we see at this time of year and will help to lift your mood.

5. Go nuts! Nuts are a packed full with good nutrition. They’re a good source of protein, fibre, monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, copper, and antioxidants. And they help reduce the risks of heart disease and diabetes and some studies have shown that they can help control weight. Population studies have also shown that eating about one ounce of nuts every day reduces the risk of heart disease in the long run by 30% (Harvard School of Public Health, 2003).

6. Remember, slim-line mixers and diet soft drinks are calorie free! Choose them over the “full fat” options.

7. Dance like you mean it! Put those dodgy Christmas records on, take advantage of your reduced inhibitions from one or two glasses of wine and hold your own “Strictly Come Dancing” Christmas competition! If dancing isn’t your bag, then running around playing with kids at Christmas is a fine substitute and terrific fun! So, don’t be scrooge-like, grumpy and lazy when things get lively, get up, join in and have a laugh.

8. Speaking of which… It was reported at the European Congress on Obesity in 2005 that 10 to 15 minutes of laughter increases energy expenditure by 10 to 40 calories per day. So, laugh for an hour a day and it’s the equivalent of a one mile run!

Perhaps happy people are actually healthier people? Discuss…

What things can you do to choose happiness AND health over the next few weeks?

Tip Three – Collect your thoughts
Also, at this time of year it’s often possible to take a little time to relax and put your feet up, to take stock of your current situation and consider your future.

Think forward 12 months from now. Imagine yourself being both healthy and happy.

  • How would you like to be feeling?
  • How would you like to look?
  • How would you like to be performing at work?

Think about it. Imagine that everything over the next 12 months goes well for you… what will a happy, healthy and peak performing you look like, feel like and be doing? Whatever this looks and feels like, at PlanetK2 we’d like to be there to help you on the journey.

All the best to you for a happy and healthy Christmas and a peak performing 2018


What’s your purpose?

69_2100978619We’ve recently started some exciting team performance programmes in Australia. Performance coach Katherine Bond shares a key performance take away from her time there.

The power of a purpose

It’s funny how there are times when the same issue or topic seems to come up repeatedly. Maybe it’s coincidence or perhaps you’re just more aware of something so you end up having conversations about it or notice when others are writing or talking about it.

Anyway, I’ve just come back from working with our customers in Australia, and the topic of purpose kept coming up. More specifically, the importance and power of having meaningful purpose for motivation, performance and team alignment. It came up time and time again in work and personal conversations and even reared it’s head when indulging in a bit of Australian sporting culture at the weekend. I thought I’d share three stories in the hope that there’ll be some insight and take-aways for you.

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