we’re Workplace Wellbeing Specialists
Revolutionaries of Wellbeing (ROW*) helps leaders to create wellbeing-centred workplaces that unleash human potential and unlock performance.
We partner with clients to solve collective challenges and to share knowledge and experience. We support leaders and wellbeing managers to develop their expertise, access practical tools and resources, and network with peers to truly make a difference.
Our mission is to develop the world’s wellbeing leaders – through an approach that encompasses human-centred design, lived experience, and professional expertise. Together, we can create more uplifting, energising, and sustainable workplaces.
* Occasionally we’re asked how to pronounce the acronym ROW. Think of it as ‘row’, like rowing a boat in unison. It’s a great metaphor too!
Recent global events have given us all the time to reflect on what is important to us and what support we need in our workplaces, at home with our families, and in our communities. Here’s our story.
it all started with a conversation
In early 2018, founder Sarah McGuinness was on a mission to interview 100 organisations around New Zealand to better understand the opportunities and challenges of lifting wellbeing across workplaces.
It was driven by three things:
1. Sarah’s professional experience – Having worked in and with large organisations for nearly two decades in corporate communications, leadership development, and wellbeing roles, she’d seen firsthand what a difference a wellbeing-focused culture could make. She had worked with leaders and teams that thrived, and those trying to survive.
2. Her Dad’s experience – He was a Chief Financial Officer of a large international company for 18 years and was spending his retirement undoing the effects of chronic stress. By then, Sarah and her Dad had many, many frank conversations about what he would have done differently. Sarah was driven to help others avoid the same experience.
3. Her own lived experience – Sarah had her own mental health challenges including burnout and anxiety and wanted to help normalise the mental health conversation. She’d also recently published her honours research on the eating attitudes and body image dissatisfaction of midlife adults and was struck by the sheer number of biological, psychological, and sociological changes that happen during those crucial years of our work lives.
So, one conversation led to another and on Thursday 5 April 2018, something small but remarkable happened. Four Workplace Wellbeing Champions from NZ’s most recognizable brands met via Skype for the first time to trade stories, offer peer support and be part of a guest interview, hosted by Sarah.
Over time, word got out and the group grew organically. At the time, it was called the My Health Revolution Wellness Champions Network and after some trial and error, the group settled on 6-weekly meetings via Zoom.
The uprising had started
By early 2019, there were 40 wellbeing champions in the network and Sarah tentatively put out a couple of posts on LinkedIn, sharing the group’s existence on a public platform for the first time.
The champions were senior leaders, HR professionals, health and safety professionals, wellbeing specialists, and subject matter experts.
By late 2020, the group had grown to nearly 100 champions, including a few from overseas. By that time, guest interviews included author and clinical psychologist Dr Amy Silver and Dr Nathan Price at New Zealand Rugby, and interviews were recorded and turned into podcasts to support capability building (and ensure no one missed out!).
Day-to-day, Sarah was focused on her two businesses – My Health Revolution, a corporate wellbeing research and strategy consultancy, and Sarah McGuinness, a brand that provided information and resources to support mental fitness and self-care – and her mental health project Take Care.
then, The world changed overnight
As the globe changed overnight with Covid-19, one thing became apparent – the champions in the network were some of the most instrumental people to how organisations coped with the unfolding crisis. The champions led mental health initiatives, enabled working from home, contributed to business continuity, and supported wellbeing in as many ways as they possibly could to ensure employees had the support they needed.
What they needed was wrap-around support themselves – and that formed the basis of a complete re-brand and refreshed focus for Sarah and the team. By mid-2020, the Revolutionaries of Wellbeing (ROW) was born. The name represented the passion and dedication of the people in the network – they are revolutionaries. There was no guidebook – and yet they were out there creating a better world.
reforming and elevating to meet the need
As part of the rebrand, the Sarah McGuinness, Take Care and My Health Revolution brands were amalgamated and reformed under one significantly improved offering – Revolutionaries of Wellbeing (ROW). ROW was officially launched in September 2020.
Of course, not everything goes to plan. Sarah burnt out in late 2020 (read her story in our media coverage), which was followed by a diagnosis of ADHD and fibromyalgia. It was a game-changer. Rather than see it as a setback, she stepped up – using the experience to shine a light on the workplace wellbeing issues too important to ignore. It was also a steep learning curve, learning to take her own advice…and it’s one of the reasons lived experience is a core part of our approach. We get it. We’ve been there too.
Over time the incredible ROW Crew has grown, supporting workplaces with wellbeing – wherever they are on their wellbeing journey.
ROW is dedicated to helping you, as a passionate wellbeing leader, build better workplaces to drive real change.
Be a revolutionary of wellbeing: Join us. Unleash human potential in your business.