Did you hear about the union of culture and technology? We did – and guess what – we’re invited to the celebrations!
We’d like to say that we’re delightfully surprised, but to be honest, this engagement doesn’t surprise us at all in fact, it’s been a long time coming.
We’re constantly looking for ways for us to evolve and grow as an organisation. Does that mean harder, faster, smarter? Well, yes – but how do we do all of that and hold on to the essence of who are we as an organisation? Mission impossible? Nah – more like mission, “why was it ever impossible.”
For us, it’s all about creating platforms for our clients and ourselves for communication, measuring and tracking data, and gaining insights at their deepest levels whilst being ‘on-the-go’. We’re a remote team, working in and on various projects across multiple industries in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Cape Town again, then waaaaiiiit …. we’re back to Johannesburg – so, as you can imagine – working from where and when we can, in the most efficient way possible, has become a core part of our culture.
We’ve created/built/manipulated/maneuvered (call it what you will) tools with the greatest intention of enabling us to make better, more informed, speedier, more-purpose-led decisions at the ‘click’ of a button.
You can pretty much bet your bottom dollar that you’ll read a blog from another Kaleidoscope team member within the next few posts that will explore another way in which we use one of the tools below, but in the spirit of ‘Culture, Tools & Efficiencies’, these are my Top 4; -
1. Slack – this platform is the Lead Link of Tools for us and for our clients. It creates room (basically elbows everything else out of the way) for transparency and open communication. Sharing data and key insights on Slack allows the entire team (or those team members on that specific channel) to have an overview that will inform how they schedule their day, focus their priorities and plan in both the short-term and long-term.
2. Typeform – in a nutshell, this is a charismatic way of engaging and generating feedback, learnings and insights as a questionnaire. It can be sent out externally or internally (to a pool of customers or team members as big or as small as you require). It’s accessible on both your phone or laptop and can be branded so beautifully it’ll make mouths drop. We use Typeform when the element of ‘pretty’ is required (so, mostly, externally).
3. Airtable – largely, we use Airtable as an internal tool that is shared as a link with team members on Slack. It can shared once a week/huddle/sprint as a front-end questionnaire and retrospective and is great for extracting raw data and generating that into patterns or a holistic view on the back-end. Information can be stored from sprint-to-sprint or week-to-week and referred back to. Once the data has been ‘refined’ it can be transparently shared on Slack in a CSV format, or screenshots, to the entire team. For example, it’s great as a Sales or Performance Dashboard.
4. Trello – a project management tool that puts a smile as big on our faces as our morning cup of coffee! Trello boards, lists and cards enable us to prioritise and plan in a fun, flexible way. Team members can be tagged when an essential part in the process is sitting with them, and then can tag the next team member in the relay or mark it as ‘complete’. It’s all about creating visibility and transparency. We’d suggest creating a ‘questions parking lot’ and ‘done’ channel for important elements at the end of each board.
What’s the biggest win about these tools? They all integrate with Microsoft Products, such as Dropbox and Outlook. They don’t work in isolation. They talk to our diaries. They talk to our way of work. They talk to our clients’ platforms too. When you’re in a meeting - Slack changes your status so your team members don’t disturb you. They don’t have to phone you twice, check your diary, then phone Fred in marketing and ask him to let you know that you’re being sought after - #LeaveFredAlone !
And, (get ready to do a happy dance) … Dropbox integrates with Slack with such ease that it’s as painless as counting to ‘1, 2 … oh no wait, it’s already done.’