SpeakUp is featuring URX as company of the month because of this piece from First Round about startups and internal communications. To start, can you tell us briefly about URX and your mission?
URX’s mission is to bring relevance to the mobile experience. Today, mobile apps’ content is not universally accessible in the same way that the web is. Deeplinking helps bridge this gap, and URX enables mobile developers and marketers to take advantage of this technology to reconnect their apps to the web and benefit from a new way of driving in-app engagement.
communication practices really had us nodding and smiling – we feel like you’ve nailed it. How did you come up with your four strategies to keep communication flowing at URX? What questions do you ask in interviews to ensure candidates are the right fit for this constructively-critical style of feedback?Your philosophy on company culture and
I am very focused in finding inspiration from URX’s group of mentors, advisors and investors- they were all instrumental in helping us hone our process
Effective Executive was responsible for the naming of “Contrarian Office Hours,” and we were able to take some of his tactics and make them work for us at a team level.As with most things, it was trial and error. When you’re moving at a breakneck pace, it’s important to force yourself to pause and reflect on the state of things. Many of the underpinnings of these four strategies were baked in from URX’s founding, as they are direct reflections of personality traits in James, Andrew, Nate and me. Additionally, I am very focused in finding inspiration from URX’s group of mentors, advisors and investors- they were all instrumental in helping us hone our process in a way that is authentic to our culture and identity. Peter Drucker’s
One of the first things we did at URX was define our company values. They all reflect our work culture, and we ultimately make sure that all of the questions we ask in interviews align to these directly. We ask about hard conversations people have had, how they deal with conflict, and how they receive feedback.
A crucial part of efficiency in business in general and especially in communications is what you “don’t do.” At URX, what behaviors, tools, and/or processes do you specifically avoid?
GitHub’s culture was definitely an inspiration for this, and we have done what we can to adopt some of their work ethic. We do what we can to avoid superfluous meetings, and for those that we do need we are diligent about starting on time. We’ve decided to remove a lot of the “syncs” that were on our calendar when we were a young company to see whether they were still important – when we realized that team productivity didn’t decrease (but in fact increased) after removing them, we knew we were on the right track.We prefer working asynchronously to needing to be in the same room.
You mentioned a few of the tools you use to help organize input and feedback at URX. Are there any tools that you wish someone would create to further improve this process? How will you scale things like “Contrarian Office Hours” and “Tech Talks” as the URX team grows beyond one office?
We’ve found that general purpose tools like Google Moderator and Hangouts work well for scaling our process around Contrarian Office Hours and Tech Talks. Members of our team are responsible for different parts of the process, such as getting people to ask questions in our moderator, scheduling tech talks, and recording them so people who can’t make it (or who aren’t in SF) can view them.
Over time, we will have to get better at streaming talks and meetings for a global audience, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
Big business and startups alike are plagued by time-wasted with emails and meetings. How do you keep things in check at URX?
Everyone is accountable for our internal process and modes of communication. If someone sends a superfluous email or hits “reply all” when they didn’t need to, our team will remind them to keep the communication overhead to a minimum. Self-regulation is the best solution we’ve found here.
Enabling your team to give feedback and see it implemented is the best way to gain buy-in across your organization
employee-sourced innovation or communication in general? Is there anything else you’d like to add?Thanks very much for the time! Is there any advice you’d like to share with other business leaders looking to improve
As a business leader, you are never too busy to talk to your team. Take the time to listen to what they have to say, and take their advice seriously. If you hear the same thing from multiple people, it is likely true. Enabling your team to give feedback and see it implemented is the best way to gain buy-in across your organization.
– See more at: http://blog.getspeakup.com/post/93888581741/the-dos-and-donts-of-internal-communication#sthash.AYNhHa5s.dpuf