What do Goat Yoga and Business Development Have in Common?

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Q: What do “goat yoga” and business development have in common?

A: They both require you to do a LOT of stretching.

(Sorry, that was “B-A-A-A-A-D”…)


Terrible joke notwithstanding, this past weekend I attended a four-day intensive business development training program in Long Beach Island, NJ, and to say there were a lot of “firsts” outside my comfort zone would be an understatement.


The first assignment was to get up early enough the first day to watch the sunrise over the water:



…followed immediately with a dip in the ocean around 6:30am (remember, I am NOT a morning person!) before starting the day. Let the stretching begin!


Sometimes that stretching was more literal than others. The third day at the end of the seminar we were escorted out of the classroom and back to the beach to find these these very non-aquatic creatures waiting for us:


Goat Yoga greeting


You guessed it: Goat Yoga on the beach. If you’ve never heard of Goat Yoga before, that’s where you do yoga in a room/pen full of goats, and as you move into different positions, the little goats will randomly decide that you look like a good place to hang out, at which point they’ll climb up on your back and look around until you change positions or they get bored, whichever happens first. (I SWEAR I am not making this up.)


There were a lot of experiences I had where I had to suspend disbelief, find my courage, and try something new, ranging from making some strategic business decisions to jumping in the ocean at midnight in the dark.


But regardless of the activity, I’ll tell you this: sometimes the greatest lesson I learned was about the importance of knowing when it’s time to ponder a decision for long stretches of time, and when it’s time to just pull the trigger and GO (which is the ONLY way to plunge into a cold ocean, FYI.)


The choice can be more complicated when the issue at hand is things like how to develop cultural ties and bonds among employees and coworkers, and how to get people excited about changes and new opportunities.


That’s why, in this week’s episode of Speaking to Influence , Nathan Peirson, SVP of Talent and Employee Experience of Paycor, shares with us his primary focus of empowering leaders and building culture and community in today’s remote and in-person workplaces.


Unfortunately, happy hour gatherings, both virtual and in-person, are still a standard default effort, but people are getting tired of both: the semi-forced “fun” of a decidedly un-festive Zoom event, and when working from home, nobody wants to make the commute into the office just for a glass of wine among coworkers.


As Nathan said, “A happy hour isn’t a culture driver.”


So what’s the solution?



The answer is: It depends on the group, the motivation, and the purpose, for starters. Ultimately, it’s about building a shared experience that is employee-centric.


His team has arranged everything from volunteer service events to trivia nights to speaker series and more. Seeking input from various employee resource groups regarding what kind of event they would like to facilitate gets buy-in from the members, and is much more likely to be culturally relevant, unique, and reflective of the company culture.


To get buy-in, whether for a cultural event or any significant culture change, Nathan realized that there were four big stakeholder groups whose support he needed, each of which required a very tactful approach and unique focus:


  • The executive team who focus on the investment, impact, and drive confidence
  • Non-senior leaders (directors, VP, etc.) who care about the impact on their teams, retention, and their role
  • Associates, who want to know the impact that any changes would have on their direct jobs, and
  • The team of workers doing the actual execution, who want to understand how their role fits into the organization.


Listen to the full conversation here or watch it on YouTube here.


And speaking of getting buy-in on massive scale, join us this Friday, September 30, 2022 from 11:30 PM – 12:00 PM for another lunchtime Linkedin Live with Erik Huberman, Founder and CEO of Hawke Media and former Speaking to Influence guest.


Erik and Hawke Media are getting ready to launch a massive new initiative that is going to require getting everyone on board and excited about it with minimal friction for optimal results.


In our live session, we will look at it as a case study into the inner workings of building excitement for a launch, diving into the thought process behind the messaging in the build-up to the launch, to ensure maximum buy-in.


You can RSVP here.


Don’t miss it!

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