Culture is really important to us at MarketInvoice. Of course we take our work very seriously but we also make time for fun. There’s always something on, from bake sales to quiz nights and our Friday Town Hall meetings that roll into socialising on the roof terrace. Whether it’s working or learning, celebrating or simply having a bite to eat, we always look for opportunities to get together as a team.

We spoke recently about creating a culture of diverse excellence. For us, that means celebrating our team’s excellence at work, as well as the things they’re excelling at outside of their jobs. That’s why a MarketInvoice Skills Auction made perfect sense for our last charity fundraising event.

The rules were simple: pick something you’re great at and then auction off a session where you teach that skill to the highest bidder. All proceeds would go to the National Autistic Society. Needless to say, the skills on offer were as diverse as they come. They ranged from the serious “Microsoft Excel class” to the more cultural “how to play the bagpipes” and even the rather dubious “personal shopping for terrible trousers”.

We learnt a lot about the hidden talents of our colleagues and had fun upskilling ourselves under their guidance. Bri from our Marketing team, for example, was schooled in the art of advanced makeup by Martina, a fashion-forward member of the Finance team. Darvish, our Head of Partnerships, spent an afternoon giving a lesson in the “fundamentals of a golf swing” to Ilya, MarketInvoice Co-founder and MD.

It became clear early on that a significant portion of the team’s out-of-work skill set lies in either athletic or culinary pursuits. Some of the food related skills included a “Chinese cooking lesson” (delicious dumplings) as well as “Michelin star cooking and wine” (skagen toast, sparkling Shiraz and more). The sportier skills included swimming, rock climbing and even an intense beginner’s session of Barry’s Bootcamp.

The Skills Auction was a great example of the way we work at MarketInvoice. The team has grown a lot since we started back in 2011 and will continue to expand as the business scales. But something that has always been very important to us is maintaining a collaborative #1Team1Dream environment. While we celebrate our diversity, we also think of ourselves as a single united team. Whether that’s working together on key business initiatives or sitting down together in the Glass Box to have lunch. Our Shoreditch office is open-plan and so is our company culture.

Here’s a complete list of the weird and wonderful skills that our team had to offer:

Excel class / How to do the Floss / Personal shopping for terrible trousers / How to make the perfect packed lunch / Chinese Cooking session / How to smash plates, Greek style / Fundamentals of a golf swing / How to do a Graphic Design project / Advanced makeup class / How to shuffleboard / Swimming lesson / How to neck a Guinness in 3 seconds / Instagram tips / How to row / Georgian cuisine 101 / How to play the bagpipes / Michelin star cooking and wine / Barry’s Bootcamp session / How to give a professional massage / Rock climbing session / Steak dinner and fun