The Brave New Work of Social Business
Hour upon hour of relentless gaming, the thirst to reach the top of the leaderboard. If only work inspired people like computer games do. By adapting the most addictive gaming platforms to suit the business world, Investment Impact has created a virtual consultancy where all users compete – against themselves and each other, to prove their excellence, build the best profile in the hall of fame and gain virtual consulting opportunities to achieve geographical freedom.
This social business is the brainchild of CEO and game master Louisa Leontiades. She defines herself on LinkedIn as an “Entrepreneur. Blogger. Analyst. Geek. Half Greek. Woman :-P” She is one of the only members of LinkedIn who has a smiley in her professional profile headline and the tongue poke is a literal demonstration at the disdain she has for corporate life. After achieving success as a strategic finance professional, her indignancy at being forced away from her newborn daughter back to the grindstone inspired her to start a crusade against the traditional 9-5 workplace.
“There are only two timezones now,” she explains, “online and offline. My company helps women log hours on a project at 3am when they are wide awake from breastfeeding and men who prefer to attend their kid’s school play on a Friday evening so they can make it up if need be on a Sunday morning.”
Social networking is an integral part of her business, and Louisa is keen to use technology to deliver effective solutions for both her clients and colleagues. Her personal blog, Diary of a Young Start-up, is a fascinating and irreverent insight into the decisions and actions which are shaping her business, and is published in high-profile online publications The Huffington Post and The Urban Times. Louisa’s family life features heavily in her blog, and it is plain that she "walks the talk" when it comes to working to achieve the elusive work-life balance that is her aim.
A sustainable business model is at the heart of Investment Impact: virtual consulting significantly reduces any carbon emissions, and a portion of the company’s revenues are donated to The International Tree Foundation each year to offset their clients’ printing demands. The consultants she uses are able to work around their family life and commitments, and the online nature of the business means that her pool of expertise is not limited by geography but is instead worldwide.