Is it challenging to be a high growth company and build a great product? YES! Do you have to dig deep and work hard to cultivate an environment where people feel great about showing up and giving their best? YES! Now for the biggest question: Is it possible to balance collaborative innovation with reliability and stability? We vote yes—and a few awards we’ve won over the past few months seem to agree that we’re on the right track.
Focused on Building Awesome Tech & Awesome Culture
In the past few months we’ve been honored by a variety of publications for striking the balance I noted above; for driving innovation in product AND being a workplace that gives a damn about its people. Nationally, INC Magazine named CampusLogic one of the Best Workplaces. And locally, Phoenix Business Journal presented us a top spot in the Best Places to Work Awards. We’re honored to be recognized by these firms as a place that values building a diverse and positive culture.
In the same vein, we were also named as a finalist in the EdTEch Cool Tool awards, as well as one of the fastest growing Ed Tech companies in the nation, according to INC. Magazine. How do we balance all of this goodness in one place? How do we make sure that while we’re driving innovation we aren’t driving people to burnout? By being focused. By being intentional. And by working together. Here are a few ways CampusLogic strikes a balance that generates pure #awesomeness.
Embrace Radical Candor
Care Personally. Challenge Directly. These seem like simple concepts, but many high growth organizations slip into other behaviors that stifle growth and cause internal dysfunction that can spill over into customer experience. Exceptional Customer Success relies on exceptional Employee Experience. In the book by the same name, Kim Scott explains that Radical Candor takes time to produce results and create positive change, but when it does, the value of real time feedback is exponential. The single most important thing that a boss can do is focus on guidance: giving it, receiving it, and encouraging it.
Understand the Implications of Changes
To quote Ferris Beuller, “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Change is a constant in high-growth environments and the desire to act quickly and fix problems is second nature to people hired in early and mid-stage companies. Having a collaborative process to share and understand the implications of changes is critical. Creating a culture where changes can be socialized prevents well-intended changes that cause unintended consequences. At Campuslogic, we use a regular meeting candance to solicit feedback and think through changes.
A note about the change management process: you will have to change it as you grow. Growth requires consistent reassessment of how many parties should participate in any given project. Too much socialization can cause paralysis. When change is the only constant, striking this balance takes diligence and some patience.
Ask. Listen. Act.
The long-standing golden rule for feedback is don’t ask if you’re not willing to act. Nothing undermines trust faster than empty inquiries, followed by inauthentic or non-existent responses that leave the person who gave you the feedback feeling ignored. Real time feedback, regular pulse-check mechanisms, and honest inquiry can enhance your ability to respond and even predict challenges.
Survey tools that allow anonymous feedback provide valuable data about soft pain points, giving you the opportunity to rectify them before they develop into major obstacles. When life moves fast (see Ferris above) sometimes you have to stop, ask, listen and then act. This also aligns to the Radical Candor continuum of meeting cadence. All-hands meetings, 1:1 meetings, Big Debate meetings, all provide multiple opportunities and environments for leaders to ask, listen, and act. These strategies are cornerstones to our operating philosophy and are firmly rooted in CampusLogic’s company values.
Growth and Balance: BFFs
If you want to grow quickly, foster excellence, and make your team feel awesome, consider starting with some Radical Candor. It’s easier to instill these baseline philosophies early on in growth companies versus implementing them later. At Campuslogic, we don’t do what we do to win awards—working to be the best place someone has ever worked and loving our customers are far more important. But we don’t mind the validation. Thank you to all the Higher Ed pros who’ve partnered with us to make Student Financial Services #awesome and create the BEST experience for staff and students.