App Annie News

Culture First: Adapting to the New Normal

Remy Bleijendaal

Creating great experiences also means admitting that culture is not static. It is constantly evolving.

As the Head of People, I constantly ask myself ‘what more can we do to make App Annie the best place to work?’ App Annie CEO Ted Krantz recently shared his thoughts, in this article, on the profound ways we are creating great employee experiences. Creating great experiences also means admitting  that culture is not static. It is constantly evolving. Extraordinary companies recognize culture must adapt to the ever changing expectations and needs of employees.

What is culture, and how do you explain it to prospective employees, investors and other stakeholders? How do you ensure your company culture is consistent globally? In the past, companies defined their culture by offering free food, games and bringing puppies to work. These are perks, not culture. These are not why you come to work. Culture is a shared set of values that drives your passion and inspires you to bring your best self to work everyday to achieve aligned results. We are putting culture first in three ways: values, leadership development and rethinking the workplace.

Investing in Values 

Employees want to know what you stand for. Values are more than fluffy words set up by someone in HR. Excellence, Innovation, Accountability and Winning with Style: From the top down and all around the world, we hold ourselves accountable to these values in everything we do. These are actions tied to our business and we are always actively pursuing how we can be  better. Since the rollout of our Culture Playbook, I’ve seen a remarkable change in employee engagement, innovation and teamwork. Employees bring their ‘A game’ every day because we are clear and deliberate about who we want to be as a company.

Inspired Leaders, Inspired Workforce 

Simply put, we demand good leaders--leaders who harness creativity, innovation and have empathy. We enlisted Kim Scott to help our executive team understand and adopt radical candor because high performing teams must make and receive direct feedback with empathy. Our executive team also needed to change the way they worked with each other. We adopted the ‘first team’ concept, understanding that your first team are your peers. As the VP of People, my first team is the executive team (not those that report to me).

Another brutal truth we faced is that our leadership team was ‘smart,’ but needed to get ‘healthy’ by focusing on trust, conflict, commitment, accountability and results (Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team). We also adopted definitions of humble, hungry and smart (Lencioni’s Ideal Team Player) with our teams and how we hire. Inspiring leadership creating an inspiring global workforce is where true engagement comes from, not from the foosball table and soda freestyle machine.

Rethinking ‘Where’ You Work 

We care about results, not your zip code. When someone asks you where you work, you tell them your company’s name, not the address of your office. We made a radical decision to never be office centric again because the world has changed. Your primary location is where you want it to be. Our physical space is reserved for collaboration clubs. Much like fútbol, or football, our App Annie Clubs center on our principal values. Each region will have its own club where teams, customers and partners can come together to collaborate, innovate, accelerate and celebrate. It is a space to have connections, healthy competitions and celebrate winning with style, not sit on video conference calls.

Culture is a Competitive Advantage 

Remember how I said we Win With Style? We know the way to win with our employees, prospective employees and other stakeholders is to have a winning culture. Every experience has its own culture. Do the steps we put in place at App Annie resonate with the culture you are looking for?  This is not the ‘future of work’. It is NOW at App Annie!  Accelerate YOUR possibilities!

November 1, 2021

App Annie News

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