Team & Culture

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Team & Culture

The Team – Our team is growing and changing pretty quickly. The best way to see who’s who and who’s new is to check our about page at ConvertKit.com/about. If you see anyone on there you don’t know, please reach out and schedule a 1:1 with them.

So much of what makes our team special is the time we invest in each other. We think it’s a great use of time to spend an hour learning about what your teammate values, why they live where they do, and their story. We do this normally via 1:1s over Zoom or in-person if you happen to be in the same city as another team member.

Org Chart – We work really hard to keep our company structure as flat as possible. That means we have fewer managers than most companies our size. It also means that we need every team member to be driven and good at holding themselves accountable. You can view our Org Chart to get a better idea of the overall shape of the company.

Trust – Trust is the most important element of our culture. Trust is also a common theme throughout this handbook. Many of our odd rituals are centered around either showing that we trust you or helping you to better trust your teammates.

Conflict – We view conflict as valuable and normal, especially when you have a group of talented, ambitious, and diverse team members. Conflict doesn’t equal failure. It’s an opportunity to communicate and work together toward a resolution and better understanding.

That said, when conflict inevitably arises we expect you to address it quickly and directly.  Too much, too intense, too long unresolved, and conflict can transform from constructive to counterproductive.  Too much, too intense, too long unresolved, and conflict can transform from constructive to counterproductive.

If you talk to a third-party on the team about a conflict, we expect for them to help you clarify your thoughts and perspective before addressing it with the person directly. If you’re concerned how a conversation will go or if your feedback will be well received, feel free to ask a teammate to help facilitate the conversation.

Pride – The entire team takes pride in their work in a way you don’t see at too many other companies. That comes through in how hard we work, our attention to detail, and how we bring our full selves to work.

Communication – At ConvertKit we use a lot of different tools and methods to communicate. The most common are Slack, Basecamp and Zoom.

More than anything we try to focus on working in public so that everyone can be a part of discussions that are happening and chime in when needed. We focus on trust, listening and being open minded when communicating with each other so that the lines always stay open and flowing.

We encourage sharing of ideas, opinions, and questions in channels even if it’s not one specific to the team you regularly work on. We encourage cross team communication and through experience have found that starting with positivity first before any constructive criticism results in better received ideas and opportunities for collaboration.

Talking Like Humans, Not Corporate Jargon – We believe in treating others whether it be team members, customers, or vendors as humans and that includes all written communication. If you wouldn’t say it while talking face-to-face with someone, don’t do it in an email. Examples we try to avoid:

“I apologize..” rather, say “I’m sorry for…”

“Department” rather, say “team” or “I’ll connect you with ___” or “person”

“ConvertKit does/doesn’t” rather, say “We do/don’t”

Our Favorite BooksAnything You Want by Derek Sivers & Rework by DHH and Jason Fried are both books that have influenced how we operate at ConvertKit. They’re short, easy reads that we recommend! Predictable Success by Les McKeown is also one of the favorites from the book club.

Test & Experiment – We have a culture where we should be trying new things (testing) and also setting those tests up in order to tell if it’s successful or not. A failed test isn’t necessarily bad, it’s one option that’s eliminated from the pool of many towards the success of what we’re working on.

Product Specialists – These are third-party contractors who handle support tickets and live chat. They’re all incredibly kind and skilled at their job. Daniel oversees this group, with support from Giulia and Ben. If there’s an issue with a ticket, a new process that impacts support, or any questions you might have regarding the product specialists, reach out to Daniel, Ben or Giulia. If you want to learn more about helping customers, shadowing is a great way to do that! Both Ben and Giulia used to be product specialists themselves and can share their expertise.

Board of Advisors – In 2018, the leadership team started meeting with a board of advisors. This meeting happens twice a year in the spring and late fall as part of the quarterly directors reviews. Pat Flynn (one of our biggest affiliates), Ryan Delk, and Kieran Snyder are on the board. We are looking to add additional members to our board. We encourage you to get to know the board members as opportunities arise.

Your First Two Weeks at ConvertKit – One of our team members recently called our onboarding process “wonderfully relentless” and we thought that summed it up well! We’ve all started at new jobs and felt like we were not really sure what to do with our time, or how to contribute. We try to make your first two weeks at ConvertKit really full of training, meeting teammates, assignments and initial projects. This way you’ll hit the ground running and feel like a part of the team from day one.

Feel free to reach out to anyone at ConvertKit for help, support, or encouragement. We care about each other and understand there’s a lot to take in during your first two weeks. From team members to managers to the CEO, we all want to help you succeed here.

Contractors – We work with numerous contractors, some more than others. Reach out to Ops for a list of the contractors (and their employees) that we have recently worked with if you’re unsure who someone is in Slack. Contractors are invited as either single or multi-channel guests in Slack, so they don’t have access to all the channels.

OKRs – You’ll hear this term used frequently here at ConvertKit. We use the OKR (Objective – key results) framework for setting company-wide, team, and individual goals for each quarter.  Objectives should be high level with key results being specific and measurable and taken in total should accomplish the objective stated.

It takes practice to set good OKRs. Generally, setting between 3-5 Objectives with no more than 3-5 key results under each per quarter is a good baseline. We track OKRs in 15Five and all team members can see the company’s, teams’, and individual’s OKRs at any time. You can also check out past ones in 15Five.

Each week we update through 15Five progress toward our OKRs. We encourage team members to set OKRs that can be more percentage based instead of done or not done to better account for work done on a key result.

DMFs – You’ll hear us use this, and it stands for Decision Making Framework. This is one we borrowed from Coinbase. The article provides a great overview of what it is, how to use it, and when to use it.

At ConvertKit, anyone can invoke a DMF at any time. Normally this occurs when there’s a decision that impacts others in one way or another (process, policy, decision, etc) and there’s conflict to the point where it doesn’t seem like you’ll be able to get consensus or buy-in on a decision.  It might be a great time to invoke the DMF which calls for a period of time for anyone with an opinion about the decision to share it (often in Basecamp), input providers (5-8 people of varying opinions and often teams) agree to be part of the DMF, a decision maker is determined (normally this person follows the majority but has the authority to make a different call), and then a date and time is set for the DMF to take place.

We encourage team members to record and share the results.

Diversity & Inclusion – ConvertKit is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based on any characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws, including age, race, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression or identity, religion, creed, citizenship, national origin or ancestry, military status, or political affiliation. We value diversity in all of its forms and we want to build an inclusive and diverse culture. We have a team of diverse thoughts, cultures, and interests and think that’s important and valuable to building the best solutions for our customers.

We want everyone to feel comfortable here, and that starts with each of us being aware of our biases, putting processes and policies in place that promote a diverse and inclusive culture, and being open to improving and iterating on our culture.

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