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Aspects of a great "State of [insert company name here]" presentation
Director of Engineering
June 25 2018
Every six months or so, the Culture Foundry management shares a “State of the Culture Foundry”. Much like a “State of the Union” speech, this presentation covers a wide range of topics and pulls from all areas of the company. It’s a great opportunity to “pop your head up” from the normal workday and see how your company is doing. This regular meeting is expensive (everyone attends, no one can be working on client work) but worth it. At its best, this type of meeting:
  • aligns everyone in the company in the current direction
  • lets folks know if there is a new direction
  • provides a venue for questions
  • provides a venue for feedback
  • informs everyone about the state of the business
In any company, regular information dissemination is important. In a 100% remote company, it’s crucial, because of the inherent disconnection that happens when everyone is not physically co-located. Morale and connection is more difficult to maintain in tough situations, and it is harder for someone to pick up on signals that another employee is feeling out of the loop.
Key aspects of a “State of <insert company here>” presentation:
  • needs to be on a regular cadence. Much of the value comes from the fact that this type of meeting happens periodically. Otherwise it will get pushed off for client work, and that will inform employees that keeping them up to speed isn’t a company priority.
  • should happen whether things are going well or badly.
  • everyone attends (using a tool like Zoom). If you have the money, an in person meeting is desireable (tradeoff–it becomes even more expensive).
  • there’s an agenda that is shared before the meeting.
  • there is time for questions, but also a recognition that questions may arise later. Plan for followup.
  • different parts of the organization may speak to different sections of the agenda, but the CEO runs the show
  • the data has to be relevant. This means that you should talk about money, revenue, patterns, expenses, and personnel changes. Every employess is interested in how the business is running.
  • keep it at an hour, or at most two. That’s a long time to be on a video chat.

Having a regular meeting where you talk about the state of the business informs everyone. It squashes rumors. It aligns folks on key challenges. Once you grow to a certain size, it’s a key component of intra business communication.

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