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Brink’s in the ESC top 100 🥳

We’re honoured and excited to share the news that we’ve made it into Escape The City’s Escape 100 — the top purposeful organisations to ‘escape’ to in 2022

We applied along with over 13,000 other companies and were selected into the top 100 ranking. We’re proud to be alongside peers who share our vision for building modern businesses in more progressive ways like Oddbox, OLIO, Pip & Nut, Applied and Sanctus. Escape the City is a brilliant UK-based outfit on a mission to help 1,000,000 quit their corporate jobs and find work that matters to them and the world. They started the top 100 as a way to showcase some of the best businesses to escape to and we’re made up to be on the list.

To make the top 100 we were marked against a rigorous scoring system of 6 criteria (Impact, People, Mission, Planet, Innovation and B-Corp) including anonymous reviews from the team, then ranked against the many (many!) other applicants.

We are nothing without our culture

When we started Brink, my cofounder Lea and I had the vision of building a future-focused business doing non-trivial work, and a place where people could build meaningful, exciting careers doing work they loved and were proud of. We were also very intentional about not just accepting all the norms from other workplaces. We wanted to carefully craft a culture that fits for everyone, and that questions accepted wisdoms.

Four years in, I’m proud of our culture that values contribution, not just fitting in. With Brinksters in 6 countries and counting across Europe and Africa, the nature of our global and remote way of working makes an open and inclusive culture especially important. As Lea would say, we know we need to ‘eat our own dog food’ and practice the things we preach to others.

When the pandemic hit we were only just getting off the ground, barely two years old with a team of 10. We used the necessity of having to move everything rapidly online as an opportunity to lean into this new way of working as a team. We sought out ways to strengthen our connections with one another, from a Monday morning all hands meeting that focuses on the question ‘how are you, really?’ to a summer retreat IRL, we found different ways to be together rather than just do things together.

From our business psychology expertise and our real-world experience we know that giving the team trust, autonomy and flexibility with handrails makes for an all round happier and more creatively productive set of people. Psychological safety is one of our core principles — it’s not about avoiding mistakes, it’s about moving teammates safely through mistakes when they happen and having a culture of frequent and honest feedback to learn from them.

We like benchmarks and being held to account

Around the same time as our pivot to online, we were officially certified as a B Corp. This means being held to account against tangible impact metrics and being bound by law to marry making positive dents on the world with making profit. In April 2022 we launched our 2021 B Corp Impact Report, which explored all we felt we’re doing well and how we could be doing even better. Even though our new B Corp score is 109.9 up from 94.4 when we were first certified, there’s plenty more we can do to improve how we make positive dents on the world.

We believe vital statistics are not just EBIT, margin, headcount… We have built Brink with the intention of remaining a small but mighty team focused on making an outsized impact. To us, one of the most important metrics is the size and number of positive dents we make on the world. And by maintaining a healthy business, we’re ensuring that the team we’re building and the client and collaborator relationships we form along the way, can keep doing that at scale.

Since we first certified we’ve seen a growing number of businesses in the UK and globally get certified as B Corps, as corporations committing to make profit through benefit and subscribing to be held to account. So it’s heartening to see that initiatives like the ESC 100 take it into consideration in their scoring. The groundswell of businesses on a mission to do well by doing good is a movement that needs as many on board as possible. Lists like the ESC 100 recognise those already making waves and incentivise more to join in by showing a different way of building business. We are humbled to be part of that groundswell, amongst so many peers we respect and admire.

Taking this from a blog I wrote back when we were awarded B Corp status, I think the same rings true today: “If we are providing our team of Brinksters with meaningful work they love, we are seen by our clients as peers and partners who go beyond lip service and truly act with positive impact, and if we continue to measure well against the benchmarks we have chosen like B Corp (and as of today, the ESC 100 🥳), then Brink is on track against the standard we set for ourselves when it was still just an idea looking to make its way out into the world.”

With this in mind, and the incredible achievement of making it onto the Escape 100, we can’t wait to share what else we have brewing in the background. We’re so excited to be heading to Rwanda this summer for our team retreat and are sure there will be tons more to share afterwards… watch this space.

Whilst we’re on the subject of escaping the city for more meaningful work, why not check out our careers page, where we have two new roles live. We’d love to hear from you.

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Abigail Freeman

Abigail Freeman

Founder of Brink. Organisational psychologist and behaviour designer writing about the future of work, the mindsets and culture we need for innovation to thrive