HOW TO LEAD A PUR­POSE-DRIVEN COM­PANY BY PATAG­O­NIA AUS­TRALIA’S COUN­TRY DI­REC­TOR, DANE O’SHANASSY

Collective Hub - - STYLE MAKERS -

PATAG­O­NIA LAUNCHED IN AUS­TRALIA IN 2008. HOW DO YOU TAI­LOR THE PROD­UCT LINE TO AT­TRACT AUSSIES?

In Aus­tralia, there’s a very strong surf cul­ture and we’ve tai­lored our line to sup­port that op­por­tu­nity. Patag­o­nia’s been mak­ing gear for surf and out­door en­thu­si­asts since the seven­ties. In fact, Yvon later chose to base the com­pany in Ven­tura, Cal­i­for­nia, thanks to its prox­im­ity to the fa­mous point breaks. How­ever, we also have good de­mand for our alpine, fish­ing, snow and life­style gear. Our am­bas­sadors, re­tail staff, whole­sale part­ners and storytellers help get our sto­ries out. We like hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions with our cus­tomers.

THE BRAND DE­SCRIBES IT­SELF AS A RE­TAIL COR­PO­RA­TION AND A MIS­SION-DRIVEN EN­TER­PRISE. IS THIS A HARD MIX TO MAN­AGE?

As a man­ager I feel it’s im­por­tant to take in­ter­est in what’s go­ing on with the en­vi­ron­ment, pol­i­tics and leg­is­la­tion to help make good, bal­anced de­ci­sions. In cam­paigns such as Pro­tect Our Rights, which sup­ports Aus­tralians’ rights to peace­ful protest, my role was to pro­vide my team with in­put to en­sure our busi­ness voice is clear and ap­pro­pri­ate, and the out­comes ef­fec­tive. I per­son­ally co-signed 170 let­ters with our CEO, Rose Mar­cario, which we posted to each elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the New South Wales and Tas­ma­nian par­lia­ments to out­line our op­po­si­tion and re­quest the laws be re­scinded.

HOW DO YOU EN­COUR­AGE AN AD­VEN­TUR­OUS, FREE-SPIR­ITED WORK­PLACE CUL­TURE?

We’re lucky to be based in Torquay, Vic­to­ria, home to some of the best surf in the world, but also beau­ti­ful wild spa­ces. It’s pretty com­mon to see empty desks at lunchtime with our crew en­joy­ing a surf or a ride. We also have a won­der­ful parental-leave pro­gram that sup­ports mums and dads to take paid time at home with their fam­ily (we have 100 per cent re­turnto-work rate of ma­ter­nity-leave mums). We of­fer an in­tern­ship pro­gram where em­ploy­ees can work for up to two weeks on full pay with an en­vi­ron­men­tal not-for-profit of their choice.

HAVE YOU EVER CAUGHT A WAVE WITH YVON?

I had the chance to spend some time with him last year, share a meal and surfed a cou­ple of times. We didn’t talk much about busi­ness, but a lot about some is­sues fac­ing the planet, his pas­sion for re­gen­er­a­tive agri­cul­ture (which has man­i­fested it­self in our new food di­vi­sion Patag­o­nia Pro­vi­sions), and of course, I quizzed him about some of his se­cret surf spots. He’s a great guy and I feel for­tu­nate to have had that time.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT SINCE JOIN­ING PATAG­O­NIA IN AUS­TRALIA?

What’s had the big­gest im­pact on me, espe­cially over the long-term, is un­der­stand­ing how do­ing good for the planet can be good busi­ness. I be­lieve these is­sues should be on the radar of any busi­ness, from a risk per­spec­tive and the chang­ing wants and needs of cus­tomers. How­ever, it still seems to be lost in the chase of short-term suc­cess. I feel for­tu­nate to be work­ing with a brand that recog­nises that value.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.