Episode 11: Losing a Key Employee
Speaker 1:0:00Welcome to make the logo bigger. We're a strategy for his company, right? So as everyone should be, I mean you gotta start with your objective and then kind of work your way backwards from there. The podcast that takes you behind the scenes of a marketing agency, conscience getting so much more expensive. We just got to figure out more economical ways to provide that service to clients from two guys that get paid to do this stuff on a daily basis. People love behind the scenes type stuff. They want to see how you work. You know, they want to know more about your process, so be open and honest. Here's your host though, Rice. Usually the best ideas don't actually sit within where you are. They usually come from somewhere else, and Mike, Carol, you need to design first and then create content to the design and now the obligatory legal disclosure. Bill Rice and Mike Carol worked for Kalydeco, a marketing and design agency. All opinions expressed by bill and Mike Art, definitely the opinions of Kalydeco opinions expressed by guests of this podcast. Well, they could be right or wrong. Who knows? This podcast is for informational purposes and has a reasonable probability of making your marketing better. And now this week's episode, welcome to
Speaker 2:1:07make the logo bigger and we're on episode 11 and we kind of have an unexpected topic or at least it was unexpected to me until recently. Um, but the topic today is losing a key employee and so we can open with a question. Um, sort of background. Have you ever lost a key team member? Have you ever lost a great manager, department head, maybe even a loved president or CEO, and we're going to talk about how, how the organization behaves in potentially recovers and sort of take you behind the scenes because recently we actually lost our president. Mike, do you have an opening statement for that?
Speaker 3:1:44I don't know how I'm supposed to follow that up.
Speaker 2:1:47I just realized we're going to have to. We're gonna have to change our whole intro.
Speaker 3:1:50Ruined that one piece that I haven't touched. That's gonna create some sort of challenge. Find me leaving. I hope that, you know, the way I would open up is that it's a, it was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make and while it hasn't been long enough to regret anything, I missed the team, I missed the team dearly, but I'm really fascinated to hear, you know, talk about the transition openly and how that went. What happened kind of after I've, you know, really kind of faded away from the picture, so to speak. I think this is an awesome thing to sit around and talk about in an, in an honest way because this has got to happen to other people. Luckily for you and I would say that our relationship both personal and professional is strong enough that we're going to continue to do this to be friends to work together and all that kind of jazz. But, you know, I could only imagine what would happen in a scenario where like the departure was acrimonious and any particular way or you know, or something like that. So anyway, I'm gonna let you take it away and just kinda hit me here to answer questions and listen. Um, but I think this is going to be very beneficial to anybody who listens to it. It's
Speaker 2:3:00kind of fun to be able to kind of slip. It'll sort of be an interview and just to let you guys all know in the audience we're going to continue to do the podcast. I think it actually would make it richer because we're kind of taking what was kind of one mind, one organization and now now the two hosts are obviously coming from sort of different angles. So the first thing I would say, and this is why it's going to get better, right, at least for the podcast is I'm so, you know, the one, I guess the first thing everybody should kind of get realistic and real with is this happens, right? Every organization, people come and go, um, it should be something that you probably, a lot of the people that are on this listening to this podcast are marketing directors or, or kind of higher up, but at least the manager level, maybe department level, maybe even higher than that.
Speaker 2:3:49Um, and so you're going to have key people that leave or you might have colleagues that lead, but it's something that you should always be thinking about, like how do you deal with when you're looking at your organization and you're identifying key employees, um, you know, what would you do, what, what's your game plan B, um, and, and really sort of actively think about that. So that's the first thing when we definitely wanted to make sure that we kind of get across here is one, it's going to happen to, you should, you should be thinking about it. Um, but then I think as a component of that, hey, can you make that as, as, as good as possible. And we're going to talk a lot about that. But, so just to kind of frame it up and just to give you again a little bit of a backdrop and then I'm gonna ask some questions specifically.
Speaker 2:4:34But um, so obviously we're an agency. All of you guys have been listening to us are familiar with that. And so an agency works with a lot of different clients and we're the kind of, the, the value proposition is that we can take a lot of different client experiences across the spectrum and help new clients or, or add to existing clients based on that experience. And Mike has now transitioned to essentially leading a marketing department in a organization all by itself. So, um, so in talking about your decision, um, and then we'll kind of move into kind of how that worked within our organization, but just even thinking through the process and why key employees may make different decisions, maybe take us through like why you wanted to make that transition or kind of what drove that, that different environment that you want it to be into.
Speaker 3:5:23Yeah, sure. I mean, the number one factor, and you and I talked about this previously, obviously when it kind of happened, is that I think if you're in an agency or in a small agency and you're, you're, you know, you're trying to grow it and all that kind of stuff is that the, there is a certain weariness and like a grind to being in an agency that makes it very challenging from time to time. And so I was at Gladica for what, six years, I guess it was a. So I was, you know, Bill and I worked together for six years and working with the team was amazing. I loved our team. I love working with every day. Going to work was never a chore. The only thing that ever became a chore kind of was working with clients. And it's not because they're bad people or like it's just that when clients make lots of demands on you, um, and, and it's hard to give them all of the focus and attention that you might want to give them for a number of different reasons.
Speaker 3:6:16One, they could be not be willing to pay for it to, you have 20 and 30 clients that you're dealing with on a, on a kind of like an everyday type of basis and, and three, you know, like you don't understand the inside of each organization as well as you would like. So like sometimes you run into political or institutional pitfalls or that kind of thing. And so that, that became, I don't even want to say frustrating vr because it wasn't frustrating. I was just tired of doing something different every 15 minutes, which I really loved for all the time that I was at and I really wanted to. I really wanted to try my hand so to speak at it. Owning a single organization, a single operation every day, having every decision come to me like from a marketing and, and sort of now sales actually at this juncture I'm perspective and, and own the failures and the successes, but know that I got to try every single one of my strategies exactly how I wanted to try it.
Speaker 3:7:16Um, it's almost like a personal test to be honest because one of the, one of the challenges that you run into with clients of course, is that like if you get to implement, you know, sometimes you get to 100 percent of what you want to do more often than not, there are compromises and those compromises can be good, bad or indifferent, doesn't really matter. And the original strategy that you envisioned it does not the thing that ends up being executed. And I think often times you might even start doubting yourself. Like, do I have to know what I'm doing? Like I'm not getting the results I should get. So one of the things from a personal perspective, I really wanted to challenge myself to see almost if I knew as much as I thought I did, um, end to end to work in this new company which is a software company and try to take it to the next level, which is what I've been, what I've been hired to do, what our clients hired us to do. But when I was with Kalydeco. And so it's a, it's a different, different kind of challenge, a new challenge, but I think I was just looking for that for, for some focus in my life. Um, being in an agency is very disparate from day to day, which is a good thing by the way. There's a lot of fun, but you can get tired of it.
Speaker 2:8:15Services businesses is definitely any kind of services business that you are kind of at the Beck and call and the wisdom of the client. Sometimes some clients are greatly appreciate the, that effort and that service and sacrifice. It's going forward and that can definitely be grinding. So definitely no more control internally. But again, sometimes that gets its own politics and that sort of thing. So. So I want to take you behind our audience behind the scenes a little bit and then I'll definitely jump in and chime in as we kind of go through some of the things that we learned because again, this is something that w was a, probably a rear. Probably my biggest mistake was it was a real fear, but it wasn't anything that I ever reacted to probably as, as well as I should have. I'm sort of planning for it, but so some of the things that we learned out of this that were, that were obviously a lot bigger than normally I would have anticipated this is just fundamentally work is very personality and relationship driven.
Speaker 2:9:20So just, and, and by that I mean the way people work, the way teams work together. I'm way clients interact. We've always kind of had an appreciation for that. We know like with an agency now, it's not necessarily the agency that actually um, ultimately kind of gets the client. It's often a personality or an individual sort of that client. It's an over time it builds or, or it gets like any relationship, it gets old. Right? And so that's also the life cycle of a client often is they enjoy working with you and continue working with you. And sometimes like in your relationship over time, sometimes it gets richer and sometimes that gets more tired. So, so that was something that we weren't expecting. But I guess the part of that I didn't expect, especially from the client side, now we'll talk a little bit later about kind of internal stuff, but clients will actually, uh, when we had some experience with some clients, I'll take advantage of that transition.
Speaker 2:10:18Right. So, um, in, in a lot of different ways, it's Kinda kinda weird. So um, clients that we've had for awhile and got used to deal with Mike and it probably hurt because I was sort of out of the company for awhile focusing on some other things. And then um, so I kinda came back in, in the transition a little bit cold to some of the clients, but, um, but I was surprised the clients will take advantage of that transition. Um, uh, like I said in good and mostly bad ways, but sometimes a good way is to just kind of air our grievances. Um, we saw a lot of that. Um, we saw. Yeah. And it's also kind of interesting.
Speaker 3:10:57Do you think they felt like freer to express themselves? Because like it was a new voice in the room and then the old voice, me obviously was now gone and they didn't feel comfortable expressing some of those grievances to me, which is really fascinating to me. It's
Speaker 2:11:10kind of funny because it created an odd sort of conversation, you know, with things because a lot of times they were, I think for whatever reason they felt more comfortable airing grievances because you were out of the picture and they were saying things and then at the same time they were, they were, it was this like weird sort of dichotomy that they were displeased that you were gone. But at the same time they were complaining about things that obviously like I did wasn't, it wasn't what I was doing right or, or how, you know, how the team was really. It was just, it was a really weird thing. And then I think some of them in kind of the worst sort of ways just took advantage of the whole thing that kind of, you know, checkout on their obligations, which we had a few of those.
Speaker 2:11:50Uh, so that's. So, but it's something that, and this is why we share this and why we kind of, in all of the things that we do try to kind of take you behind the scenes because these are real things that agency owners and agencies or even marketing departments need to think about. Um, because these are the same things. You lose a key employee, maybe that key employee loses influence in your organization that makes it harder for you to get things done as a result of that. So, um, so that's why I kind of bring some of these. Um, and then the other thing is some, some clients will like the new personalities and approaches and then some won't. So because it is so relationship driven, you know, Mike's process and my process, although they're fairly similar, actually
Speaker 3:12:32wildly disparate
Speaker 2:12:34some nuances to it. So, um, so we did have some positive experiences. We had some comments that were, um, you know, the, that we were able to kind of settle down a little bit and move into a process and we'll talk about that specifically. But, um, so there were some advantages of that, but the most important thing is just just know whether, again, you're an organization, you're heading the marketing department or you're inside of an agency itself that, or even the client have an agency that you're going to have a reaction to that key person I'm leaving because, you know, it's work, it's supposed to be professional, but, but ultimately it's very personality driven and you get comfortable with that. Um, I guess the second thing, um, and I think you and I as we work through this and we did a good transition because like you said, we have a good relationship and, and, and you did just an awesome job helping us with this, but it just truly showed us at the end of this process, it's almost impossible to really download a transition of all of the key employees work. There's just so many things that are just become, you know, inherent to that person. Um, and, and are done, you know, just because they breathed, right? And so it doesn't.
Speaker 3:13:50Right. Yeah, totally. Even stuff that's reflexive, like that was my biggest worry in our transition. I was like, you know, I was like, I'm going to forget about it, you know, and I appreciate you saying I did a good job, but I was like, I'm going to forget half the stuff I should be telling somebody just because I won't think of it the way I work. I know the way I work personally, I never think of it until I'm in the moment and like, I don't know if that's the way my brain works or whatever, but I get this out of like automatic recall or like I get to grab that disparate random piece of information that I need when I need it. And like there's no way for. There is no way for you the person like the organization to like fashion a questionnaire that we'll be able to extract that information. And then there's also no way for the person leaving if they're trying to do a good job to even create an environment or a circumstance under which they would be able to produce a lot of that information. And I think that's a really good point, which is it's very difficult to like, you know, to take six years worth of institutional knowledge and write it down, put it for sure.
Speaker 2:14:50And I think there's two things that we, that we kind of did well and they're probably risky things for most organizations. It doesn't happen like this, but there are a couple things that we did that I think I've helped with this. And like I said, these are kind of risky propositions. Um, but it's worth considering because it worked in this particular case. So we, uh, we left might connect it. So normally when an employee leaves manual lock down the shop, you kick them out of everything, connect our communication. But we, we've left you in slack even now, several weeks later we've left you in our slack channel. It keeps an open communication. You can kind of lurk in there, we can ask you specific questions when we get things that we can't sort of get the documentation for or even recall. Um, and even email. So it was still attached to his email, which is kind of Nice because it doesn't give you that kind of harsh, you know, bounce reaction that, that, um, the clients and so you can kind of siphon through that.
Speaker 2:15:47And if an employee has been here for six years, I mean, holy cow, they probably migrated a lot of personal stuff into that. I know that nobody's ever supposed to do that, but that's just the fact of the matter. So, so I think all that's helped, we've kept them in our project management so he could kind of help us quest after a documents and those kinds of things. But of course that requires a lot of trust. But to somehow linkedin out that transition period. And I don't know if we did it with another employer, we, you maybe just again sort of we're a smaller organization, we can take sort of bigger risk in those regards, but even maybe creating some sort of, um, I dunno, agreement that hey, I'm going to behave but I'm going to be around here for some period of time. Um, and then as the results, give them access to some of that stuff for longer even to pull out like designers and stuff like that, um, or people that have been here just to help them extract portfolio, write their own stuff.
Speaker 2:16:46I think that's, you know, getting comfortable with that. So that's one thing is just having a little trust there too. I'm somewhat unnaturally extend the transition period beyond this two weeks and then I locked the front door on you. Um, I think that's been super helpful. Um, the other thing is just to be content with the fact that some stuff you're just going to have to blow up and start over. I'm sure we ran into that on a few different things that, that we just, either we couldn't, this gets back to style. We just couldn't understand, you know, some things that were done or the way it was done or maybe have even client requirements had changed in the interim and it just never got a chance to update it, which is kind of the nature of our business. And you would be able to retain that and you'd be able to recover that on are on a call or something like that or communication with the client just because you have a background knowledge to sort of adjust.
Speaker 2:17:39Um, but we didn't have that. And so as a result we had to say, you know what, I'm just going to like specifically we did this with one, one estimate that we had on a software project that we were. And we just said, hey, you know what, like this was, this was the estimate at the time. And I just had an honest conversation with the client. I said, hey, there was a lot of time in between. Here is a different guy who made the estimate. Like, I would like the opportunity. I think we can stay in this particular case. Just to be specific. I said, I think it can stay in the box, but I want to make sure that I understand everything that we're going to do. And then I put the detail behind it so that then when we're actually have to live with that estimate and deliver on it, I'll understand it. And so that was a really good way to Kinda interact with the client. And I think that had
Speaker 3:18:24no, not divulging client names or anything, I, I know exactly which one you're talking about. Of course. I think that's a very smart way to, to do that with any type of client because that's also the opportunity like you said and I think we're going to talk about this a little bit further down, but like that's the opportunity when it came employee leaves going to give you the chance to like try to correct some wrongs so to speak or like to fix things and you know. Anyway, I'll, I'll let you keep going. But I think that's a clever way to do that.
Speaker 2:18:48I mean there's a great leader in transitioning to kind of another thing that I think is really important. I think Rahm Emanuel, so this famous for saying this, but, but it is true and I think it's just about being positive to in life is just to take every opportunity to turn a crisis into an opportunity and take advantage of it in some ways internally and so we did that. That's one thing. Kind of an immediate thing I decided to do is like, hey, okay, this is a little bit of a crisis. I'm probably the easiest way to kind of steady the ship is to really kind of take, and especially this actually helped because I was sort of stepped out of the organization a little bit, but take a high level view of everything that's going on and say, okay, how can we make this better during this time of transition?
Speaker 2:19:31Like what? What can we fix? What we can we look at it and so specifically a couple of things that we did a that I think it became a great opportunity to do this is one to just simply get organized right in the, when you're knee deep, neck deep in this kind of activity. And I think this is part of what got you overwhelmed. Um, you know, in a sense or just burn out and just naturally is you get so deep into the Myers with stuff. And I think this happens in regular organizations too. You get so deep and just kinda making the sausage every day. Um, you, you kind of, you don't look at the process anymore. He just Kinda your firefighting all the time. So
Speaker 3:20:11totally honest. One hundred percent correct. By the way that it wasn't, you know, it wasn't 15 minutes into, um, you know, I'm, I'm exaggerating a little bit, what was it like 15 minutes into the time of the transition vr where I wasn't doing any more deliverable work for Kalydeco. So just so everybody knows, we kind of did this, um, you know, the sort of three week transition where I had one week left of like actual work where I would talk to clients and continue to like complete work and do deliverables and that kind of stuff. And then I think this is how we did it right. And then we had two weeks of like, you know, the second week was I was still in the office and they're almost all the time so to speak in the software. We're a remote company so, but I was there and then, but I wasn't talking to clients so other people are taking on that type of work.
Speaker 3:20:58And then like week three was kind of a softer transition type of week where I was technically off. But like I made myself available to answer questions to like I was always connected to slack or, or whatever it needed. So I was available so to speak, but also letting the team kind of slowly transition me out. And. But it wasn't 15 minutes into the, like not doing deliverable work that I had literally a 101 ideas about perfecting and making processes. It's like, like the second and like, of course I had to like stop myself from like banging you up, just blowing up your slack with all of my ideas because it's not my, it wasn't my responsibility anymore. Like, and that's not, you know, I didn't want to do that and it's now because bill's coming in to take over the processes and whatever else. And um, but yeah, just that little bit of breathing room, it's amazing how quickly I was like, wow, we could do that better. We can do that better. And I've been really fascinated to watch you and the rest of the team and Kalydeco take some of the mistakes and things that I knew I was doing incorrectly. But like you said, like I was just too deep in the firefight to like think about it. Like I'm just trying to get to second base, so to speak. Not, I'm not worried about winning the war. It's all, it's all too many skirmishes and not enough, not enough strategy.
Speaker 2:22:11And that was then. So that was so far. That's been a great thing to take advantage of. The other thing that I did real quickly, and this is just part of the firefight, but, but it turned out to be kind of a, a good, um, a good thing and something I would suggest to anybody as is I immediately got on the phone literally with almost every client and reengaged and starting to survey these clients. Right. And so to get back in, I knew I had to kind of break the news. Some of them heard in different ways. Um, but um, and we do a lot of communication obviously through slack and email and all this sort of electronic things, but in this particular case I made the decision like I'm going to get on the phone with each and every one of our clients and have a good conversation.
Speaker 2:22:53One to convey to them that this was, this was a good transition, which I think that in some ways, because this isn't the world we live in, I guess I'm a lot of people were surprised by that and so when I went through that process of telling them that was a positive thing and sort of talking about the why's and, and being transparent and honest with them, I think that helped a lot. So, um, and then I got to hear a lot, a lot of stuff, right. I mean, and so, and then not bad stuff either, but just reset. It also gives me good footing to understand like, okay, or even to reengage them and say, okay, like what are, what are your big, you know, um, things that you're focused on, what are your priorities? Make sure I understand them because they probably changed over time. So that was all a really good experience.
Speaker 3:23:41I'm sure somebody had some choice words for everybody.
Speaker 2:23:47Like I said, the weirdest. They were all relatively, I won't say they were all positive conversations, but the weirdest economy is like no one said anything bad about you. But then there were some clients, and I think some of this now that we've been through this a little bit longer and I know a little more of these clients, I think they were taken advantage of that opportunity, but they would, they would bitch about what was. But uh, but then they would say that they loved you and, and you know, we're upset that you were gone. So it's like, no.
Speaker 3:24:22Well here's a really interesting. It's a really interesting point by the way, which, so, so for people that are in the agency business or even any business, by the way, if you think about that right there and you know, I think one of my talents or abilities is to create personal connections with the people that I work with. And it just goes to show you that like a bad process or even a bad product or bad delivery from time to time can totally be overcome by like creating an important and relatively deep personal connection with somebody. So like it's almost the oldest game. Like the oldest trick in the book is like, well, as long as they like you, they can't fire you type of thing. And not that I advise that people do that, right? Like she just deliver a good product and we always try to do that.
Speaker 3:25:06Aquatic certainly did. Um, but that's, you know, part of me is almost not surprised by the fact that people would be sort of taking the opportunity to like, well, I don't like the way quote unquote Kalydeco works and they'll be like, but I Miss Mike, which is funny to me, but it makes sense because sometimes and when you're hustling and doing that type of thing, you know, you lean on the fact that you've created a personal relationship with somebody and the fact that they like you to overcome some of maybe the institutional or delivery challenges or whatever else. And maybe I did that too much. Um, because, because it masks true problems with your workflow, with your process, with your delivery, like whatever else. And like, that's uh, that's interesting. Yeah.
Speaker 2:25:46Like I said, through everything, you always learn stuff. So that was kind of an interesting wrinkle in how these things work. Um, and then I think the last thing, you know in particular, I'm sure there was a lot of things that we kind of took advantage of to sort of tighten up but, but really take the time to refine your internal processes, workflows and then kind of goes back to the getting organized part, but um, but being able to kind of come into high level and not sort of in the delivery, all those, those obviously came fairly quickly, but you got to take a look, um, as you were trying to insert yourself back into the process and the workflows really see places where you just got lost or there was a disconnect or like how did we get from step one to three without having step two in here. Um, and so that's been kind of a good opportunity and I think it's been a kind of a good thing to go through. Kalydeco is in a few weeks, you know, as far as process and workflow has gotten a little better because I just had the opportunity to kind of look where things were getting disconnected or I was getting lost, figuring out how to get in here and, and even see where in the process we were so that, that's another kind of big thing.
Speaker 3:26:59Well, there's no better way to test the process and approach a stranger in the middle of it, right? I mean, not that you're a stranger to Kalydeco, but like to take someone unfamiliar with what's been going on and a good process, if they, if they jump in in the middle of it, should be able to track it from beginning to end and understand what's going on. And if you don't, I think it's a great way to look at like how to fill those holes. That makes a ton of sense to me.
Speaker 2:27:20Um, and so the last thing as far as learning is that we learned and you got to always keep in mind this is regardless of how you kind of deal with it, the team's going to be effective, right? That there's going to be all kinds of emotions and even just professional reactions, uh, to that key employee leaving. Um, and so you got to understand that and he and you gotta be okay with it and you've got to kind of deal with that. I'm in a really personal way, but um, as, as a result of that, I mean there's a couple of things that, that we kind of thought through or trying to kind of improve. There is one that, I mean there will always be personal relationships. Uh, there will always be personal connectivity, but one of the things that we probably didn't do as well, because we've always been a relatively small, like the core team has always been relatively small, is we built more personal relationships, almost like a family than we have actually putting a relationship or culture or pride around the actual organization itself.
Speaker 2:28:25So trying to create, and this is kinda something that we're thinking about more, is trying to create a stronger affinity and cultural connection to Kalydeco itself and being proud of that company and what it represents then necessarily the fact that you've got a particular person that you like working with or working for. So that's something that we're thinking about now that, that we weren't before because I think we would have transitioned a little bit better, uh, if that hadn't been the case. And then I think the other thing that I kind of tried to jump in as quickly as I could and we're still having conversations and kind of working through this, but just ultimately making each employee that's, that's laughter. Each employee that reported to that key employee that left is trying to make their job better. Right? So in some way in that transition, which is obviously mostly a negative experience for them, is to try to find some ways that you can make their job better in the transition and sort of coming out of the transition.
Speaker 2:29:25So we're, you know, my immediate sort of gives that I could do is like figuring out how to, you know, because this was kind of a pressure cooker in a lot of ways because of the, you know, we've expanded, we've got a lot of clients and we're doing a lot of things to some degree. We're doing some different things. Um, and so trying to ease the pressure, trying to improve the process so it doesn't feel, um, as frantic inside of here. And then really as we went through the transition, another thing that always happens is that not only the managers get hit with the client setting or if you were talking about a division inside of a company, not just a managers getting hit with sort of clients, bad behavior, if you will, or whoever is trying to take advantage of that situation or that key person coming out of the mix is just try to be top cover.
Speaker 2:30:12I'm trying to insulate the clients as much as possible from, um, from that. So, uh, so that's, uh, that's a key. Um, I think a really important. It's just whatever you can do to kind of improve that, that employee's personal experience within the company. So, all right, so with that, those are all kinds of things we learned. We learned a ton more. I could go on and on and on with this list if I thought about it for a second, but I want to get into some of the things that we're actually going to change, um, or looking to change to kind of minimize this impact in the future. Mike, I'm always interested in your kind of feedback being on the flip side of this, but I'm the first and foremost that we talked a lot, talked a lot about this a second ago, but I think it's really important improve the team's working environment, daily workflow.
Speaker 2:31:02And so just again, this is a part of creating a bigger connectivity with the company itself is working for Kalydeco, uh, something that they want to get excited about and they feel good about. Um, and so thinking about that sort of completely connected to that, you see a theme here for sure, um, is start to build a stronger culture within the organization. So it's a little tougher, we're remote, but you see good organizations like base camp at 37 signals doing these kinds of things. So, so this is a way to do it. We just gotTa Kinda work harder to make that a priority both time and resources will wise. And that's, I, that's a lot of times why we sacrifice that is really the kind of the time isn't always there. Um, and so, uh, the other thing that I kinda Kinda go into making the teams work environment better.
Speaker 2:31:57Two is in, haven't had anybody take advantage of this yet, but I was like, I was like, you absolutely have to take vacation, like you have to take vacation. So we've always had an open vacation policy, take it when you want it or whatever. Um, so that's one of those immediate things like mandatory. So we're getting an extended vacations and we'd get people to take a day here and there or whatever. But I told them you have to take two, two weeks of vacation. I don't care what you do with yourself but you have to take two weeks contiguous vacation time. So. So they're gonna figure that out. So that'll be, I'm even guilty of that bar, which is a really thing, right. So like
Speaker 3:32:41even when I would take a vacation and this is tough for any, any person who's in a leadership position I think, which is a particularly in a services company, so it's, it'll be a little different for me now. Um, because it's not like when I take a vacation now, like the software shuts down like no, like everyone keeps, keep using their platform. Um, is that I didn't take as many vacations as I should have either. And even when I took a vacation I worked on them like an idiot. So like I wouldn't, I wouldn't unplug. I think that's a really fundamental part of the, of the, you know, the culture which is bill bar created a, an awesome culture where you could live and work the way you want it to. Which is probably the thing I miss absolutely the most about Kalydeco today. Like one day after leaving I've is that, you know, your time is your own.
Speaker 3:33:29The only rule was like don't leave the team hanging. Other than that, I don't care if you do your work at midnight or 2:00 in the morning or in, in Baghdad, I don't really care so long as the work gets done or whatever else. But the problem with creating such freedom is that people tend to then feel obligated to not take it almost. It has a weird reverse psychological effect that I never expected to be a real thing. But it is, it totally is. If you don't make people take vacation, they won't take it. They almost feel like they're not allowed to, even though you've told them they could take as much vacation as they want.
Speaker 2:34:05It's true, you know, of as a leader, you have to lead by example. I think it's one of those things in particular, and I'm guilty of it. You're guilty of it. I've got one coming up though. So, um, but, um, but if you don't do it, they're not going to feel empowered to do it. So you can set the example. So, um, so I'm taking off for a couple of weeks, June through July, so I'm excited about that. Going into Europe, Greece, Rome and Montenegro and all that kind of stuff.
Speaker 3:34:46Oh No. Mother,
Speaker 2:34:49my mother, a couple of families that we've been real close to, so it's gonna should be super fun. So crude and then we're going to really go back to Rome. I've done this from time to time and I think again just going to show the employees and encourage them to do, but I mean, I mean I went and lived with the family in Rome for a month. Right. It's totally doable, especially in the environment that we live in to even do bigger things like that where a couple of weeks off, but maybe you want to go somewhere for a whole month and live somewhere else and we do have one employee just stopped and moved from Florida to Tennessee, you know, and so some unique opportunities within the company to do that. It's just to kind of figure out how to intentionally give the employees the permission to do that I think is super important so that we, we can stay fresh and invigorating and just add experiences and richness to what we offer to clients.
Speaker 2:35:43Because our own lives or a kind of kind of in a good way. So I think that's important now. I mean I can't probably the thing I learned that the biggest through this stuff and I don't know if it's just because like we didn't do it well with you or not, but it's really connected, really kind of focus on the company culture and the focus on the employee's experience at work and really investing in that um, with like I said, time and resources I think is, is key. So keep it very fresh. So what do you got left before we break?
Speaker 1:36:21I got nothing left. I mean I think that's, I think that's a really important part to any companies that you just need people need definition and if they don't have, if you don't provide them definition that the misnomer is that by giving more freedom, you're creating a better work environment. Sometimes that's not true. If you're listening to cold [inaudible] coast, make the logo bigger podcast. You can find us on the web at [inaudible] dot com. K A l a D C Dot Com. Now back to the show. Alright, so let's pop back in here and get off that heavy topic, although we
Speaker 2:36:59going to be kind of cool, like I said before, having you on the other side of the fence from that agency a client you can bring in the client perspective and bringing the agency perspective and I'm super excited about that because I think that's the balance that we need on this podcast because a lot of our listeners are by definition clients, so their marketing departments and marketing directors and everything. And uh, so I think this podcasts, a lot of things is going to get get better as we go forward. So let's jump into rabbit holes of the week.
Speaker 3:37:34So I mean, so technically it's in, in, in line with the topic we've been discussing in a day, but my transition out of Kalydeco, it's probably not as the most common transition that most people leave a company. Right? I mean, um, but one of the things I think that if you do a transition like, like we did a kaleidoscope, which was a very soft transition, um, is that sometimes you got to learn how to let go when you've left a beloved team because at some point your presence as a leader is going to hurt more than it's going to help. Um, and so actually it was a question I had for you is like I still linger allowing and slack and all that kind of stuff and I think I've been pretty good about keeping my mouth shut and there, uh, but for every once in a while I can't help myself and you jump in.
Speaker 3:38:18And then I had the thought the other day because you guys were talking about something and, and I jumped in to try to be helpful and then immediately afterwards I regretted it. Not because I didn't think what I said was useful or something, but just because it's not, you know, it's not my place to do that anymore. So if you'd go down the soft transition approach, the person who's transitioning out, um, you know, again, if they have the kind of love and respect that I did for the team that you're leaving, you want to help out as much as possible, but then you at some point, you know, just like you know, your kids, I guess like you got to let go a, otherwise you're just going to be doing more harm than good. Um, I hope that wasn't like that, but that was, that was my rabbit hole of the week, which is like, at what point, what point do I cut the cord? Do I cut the cord? You know, because I don't, I, you know, fortunately for me you're all my friends as well, so like it's very easy to want to stay connected in that way. And so that was, that was definitely my rabbit hole of the week is like, okay, how do I, how do I really do this in the best way possible? And I tried to do it considered like thoughtfully your own emotions. Sometimes they'll take it
Speaker 2:39:24like the project management in the email that gives though you still feel the weight of the organization. I think it makes tons of sense and this is a whole nother episode, like a love hate relationship with slack. But um, if it's used kind of the way that I think is probably the only way to use it, it's just kind of a true water cooler, which is what we call our main channel that I think, you know, having past employees and different perspectives in there is probably not a horrible thing because it does allow us to kind of pull out of or get a third party perspective. Especially like I said, if you don't have the weight of what's going on in base camp and the way to what's going on and they kind of the day to day, email cycle or whatever, but you just truly kind of hanging out in the watercooler, hanging out in the sort of a public chat channel.
Speaker 2:40:11Then you hear us going through things. I think those more perspectives is not a horrible thing. So it'll be interesting to see how we kind of do things over time. So, so mine, um, and this is a part of the transition to that I've kind of taken on and, and sort of thought about sort of intentionally. Um, and one of the things that got us probably into made it tougher I guess for you and for the transition is really any manager, uh, and particularly in this kind of any sort of senior role is to intentionally. I've never been good at this because I'm always one to kind of. I've always been one personally to just go figure it out and be more comfortable with that. But most people aren't. And so me throwing people into the go figure it out though sometimes it's not the best execution.
Speaker 2:40:59So to intentionally think about making a large part of my day teaching, uh, my other team members how to do things, um, and, and even to some degree critiquing, um, you know, what they're doing and the quality of it and sort of refining that. So make it a big piece of the day. I'm really dedicated to having the time to answer questions, to teach employees and to be a part of that process of kind of maturing them. Um, and like I said, for a couple of different reasons. One, obviously the transition, but the other thing that I noticed kind when I stepped in and what's happening a lot. Um, and I think this is just because everybody's so frantic and it's happened a lot actually with her. So we from time to time, we use freelancers for specialty stuff or designers or stuff like that is we were getting so like I'm on the treadmill of just delivering, delivering, delivering as fast as we can and, and, and that kind of stuff that we were literally taking stuff that was provided maybe by a designer or whatever. I'm looking at it saying this looks like crap. And then handed to the client. Um, and so, so that was one of the things that I did immediately with everybody is like, hey, you have permission. Like if somebody, whether it's an employee or a contractor internal to this organization gives you something that looks like shit. The last thing I'm going to allow you to do is hand that to the client, like you got to push it back.
Speaker 3:42:32stop the process. I could. I couldn't agree with you more. Vr Is. I don't. That's an interesting. That's a weird thing that started happening like previous to me even knowing I was leaving is that is that the. I noticed that like you said, maybe it's a treadmill issue or like we're moving too fast or people just feeling the pressure and not taking vacations or know all that stuff. Coming down on top of that, but I definitely noticed that even in my own behavior like, well it's got to go out a lot. That's not an attitude to have like, no, no, no, no, no. Like it has to go out. Well it's, it's way better by the way to ask for more time and send somebody something good than it is to send something crappy on time. Like that's just, there's no, no question about that in my mind. Anytime whether you're internal or an agency or whatever. If something is due and it's not done yet and it doesn't look good, like go ask for more time and do it the right way, do not turn in substandard work because that is all that anyone will ever remember about you is the standard. Like, no, forget by the way, as long as you don't do it all the time.
Speaker 2:43:32One of the things he talks about sort of radical transparency. We've been honest with people. I think people improve much faster obviously. I mean if you just think about it intuitively, but we don't execute like this is. I mean if you're honest with people and you tell them that, hey, this doesn't look good or you give them some feedback and suggestions or whatever, they improve much. I mean they'd be become much better. Write faster.
Speaker 2:44:04Got Lazy and slash or they just lead management, right? So, alright. So how does marketing trends. So you're doing some cool stuff. Um, let's talk about some of these. These are some old things that we've done.
Speaker 3:44:22Yeah, these are all things that are kind of bubbling back to the top. But personalization is definitely, um, you know, coming back to being like a hot thing in, in any type of marketing and qualaroo by the way, which I haven't looked at since you and I used it when it was in Beta is has gone way beyond like the little nudge survey tool that we love so much and as, as teamed up with Ibm Watson and is doing like machine learning and all sorts of other stuff. And so again, I work at a software company now so like they connect with your inept behavior and track all that and you know, so it's kind of interesting to go down the key of like how do you make someone's journey through your software, through your customer, like any, anybody for that matter. Like how do you make your customer's experience a truly personal one.
Speaker 3:45:06And so that's one of the, one of the trends that I'm kind of looking at it and I'm trying to figure out a way to do that here as often as possible because we've seen some good early testing results based on like simple segmentation and just talking to people based on their job role and all that kind of stuff. So it would just not new by the way. I mean that's the oldest trick in the email marketing book, but I'm. Well I'm very curious to see what qualaroo is doing from a sort of machine learning perspective. Like I don't download next Tuesday or whatever. So I'll report back to the podcast. Like what I learned about the new product. It's pretty fascinating. 100 bucks a month is where it starts, but like there's an enterprise price point went through an Sdk and kind of hook it into your app. So that's what I'm going to figure out. Like what is the actual price point for. Excuse me for like the enterprise storage
Speaker 2:45:53100 bucks thing I assume is just a chat things going on or whatever. It was interesting to me about all the time was and I think that's why maybe it took some time to kind of understand them more is everybody just thinks it's that pop up sort of automated, you know, can I help you chat tool, but it's not. It actually is trying to nudge behavior and that's, that's Super Kinda. Yeah, for sure. Not to get into that sense because it's just people don't get it. It's a concept that there is.
Speaker 2:46:38All right. Top recommended.
Speaker 3:46:51So my big top reputation of the week is to sign up for customer.io is emails, customer.io is just an email service provider, like a mailchimp but very good but different. They actually customer that io is doing more like personal drips and that kind of stuff. Or actually no, I'm sorry. That's prospect customer.io is doing this stuff that bill was just talking about, which is like, you know, personalization in email, hook up into your website to track people's behavior and then serve them in app messages and all that kind of jazz. But none of that matters by the way. Just go up and sign up for a demo whether you want to use the software or not, and just consume their email drip and how they talk about emails. It's awesome. They know what they're talking about. They talk about, um, if you were looking to gay, become a master's, master's degree in email marketing, I would highly recommend that you just read their stuff, read their blog, whatever else. I've been really impressed. I don't know why I didn't run into it before, but I've been kind of going through and while evaluating other pieces of software are the way they talk and write about email marketing is spot on.
Speaker 2:47:48Oh, the other thing. And again, like everything in this episode it's going to consume by, by sort of this transition period. Um, one thing that I've been adamant about is really building templates for everything that you do. I mean, just printing the wheel every time. It's just crazy and it doesn't deliver. Particularly as an agency. I think this is really important. This is another thing that I kind of learned in the transition or kind of became more aware of this. It's really important to give all of your clients a consistent experience and so that means the same kind of deliverables, the same kind of process, the same sort of results because not only does it deliver sort of a more consistent services product, which I think a lot of people in the services business they think about and they don't think about actually delivering a product which I'm more focused on is literally delivering a services experience or product and templates are a big part of, of that.
Speaker 2:48:42But the other thing that it does that it become really aware of, um, lately is it also allows your organization to sort of calm down a bit because they, they're not always recreating the wheel. There are guides for them pull off the shelf and to fill in and they do know what the process is because they could see sort of the document templates that are available to them and, and really kind of trying to make that more of something they can do in Google docs has gotten better at that. Then when you select a doc, you can actually go to the template library. So now I'm telling everybody, go, when you go to do a doc, never do a blank doc, you should first look to see if there's a template in the library, um, before you create just a blank dock because that's making more work for yourself. So that's,
Speaker 3:49:33I think that's a great suggestion bar. The only thing I'll say it just as a broader personal note is like, it's amazing that even when you create the template that people will ignore it. I don't understand. I'll never understand that. But how many times like, Hey, I did that before and you can just copy it. We're going to leave it on that.
Speaker 1:49:56Any last minute words? All right, so you guys can't wait to the next podcast and thanks for having me on this stuff. Dr. Know glad that things are going well at Quantico.