About Mackenzie Fogelson
Mackenzie Fogelson — “Mack” to those in the know — is a writer, speaker, and the Founder and CEO of Genuinely, a digital strategy company. Mack has been a featured speaker at top industry conferences such as MozCon and SearchLove. She helps companies build meaningful brands that care as much about their customers as they do about their profits. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Jon, and is rapidly funding her kids’ college education with a 25-cents-per-swear jar.
In her Learn Inbound talk, Mack will talk about how purpose is the connective tissue for the many things that organizations desire to achieve: industry-leading strategy and innovation; competitive advantage; operational agility and efficiency; greater market share; a more diverse and satisfied workforce; customer trust, advocacy, loyalty, and word-of-mouth; stronger strategic partnerships; and, of course, profit.
The day-to-day of living your purpose is bringing self-managed ways of working alive in your organization.
Implement a self-managed peer feedback framework that your team can own and adapt, improving trust, communication and performance
- Give your team more opportunity to do the work they want to do, regardless of their official role within the organization
More evenly distribute power across your team so everyone can take more initiative, contribute to moving the entire company forward, and work more collaboratively to achieve the organization’s purpose
Good morning. How are you guys today? Good? Are you awake yet? I'm all the way from the States, it's like 2:00 a.m. where I am, you guys should be more cheery than I am. So I'm so excited to be here again this year, I'm really honoured to be back. I have so much to share with you, my deck will be on SlideShare later today. I'm also going to have a narrated version of it available on Medium so you can just follow me on Twitter and I'll get you that when it's all ready to go.
So for those of you who may know a little bit about me and maybe those of you who saw my talk last year, you know that I am incredibly passionate about purpose and the undeniable role it plays in the growth of organizations. For years I have studied, researched, and helped companies transform their organizations into purpose-driven companies. And these companies, just like any company in the world, they want to achieve all the things like industry leading strategy in innovation. They want a competitive advantage, they want operational agility and efficiency, greater market share, more diversity in their workforce, they want employees who are happy and that wanna stay around, they want their customers to be crazy about them and tell other people about them. And of course, they want more profit. Although purpose isn't the only thing that will drive this durability and success for these companies, it's one of the most significant. And purpose is the connective tissue and the breeding ground for companies to achieve all of those things.
So let me share with you some of the data that I shared last year. So 63% of people would rather shop, or purchase, or connect with a company who is considered authentic than one that is not. Seventy-three percent of people care more about the company than they care about the product that they're going to buy. And when somebody cares about your company they want to tell their friends, 50% of purchases happen because of word of mouth. Eighty-five percent of companies who are purpose-driven they experience at least 10% growth annually, and 72% of consumers all over the world would rather recommend a purpose-driven company. And if all of that isn't enough, keeping your employees is a ginormous contribution to the profit inside of your organization, and employees at purpose-driven companies are three times more likely to stay. So last year I presented a framework for how you achieve all of these things in your company, you can get that in a narrated version if you visit this Bitly link. Again, you'll get my deck later, but ultimately, I presented a three-phased approach to being a purpose-driven company.
Essentially, the way it works is purpose needs to be at the core of your organization in your business model, it drives strategy and it drives growth. It can't just be a program that's on the side, or corporate social responsibility, or a marketing tactic. When you drive your company it must be from a very customer and employee oriented place. So ultimately, you need to be implementing methodologies inside of your company that are constantly talking with your customers face to face so that you are learning what their roadblocks are and helping to remove them. And then finally, you must live your purpose as a company in your day-to-day. It can't just be something that's stenciled on the wall of a conference room or placed in your onboarding guide. Every day you have to be living who you are and that doesn't mean you have to be perfect, but you have to be authentic, human and genuine. The fact of the matter is that in today's world if you want to earn and keep your customers and your employees, and you want to compete and keep this buzz around what you're building, you can't just focus on your marketing and how your company is packaged, you must be investing in who your company is.
So last year I gave this talk in the States and when I was speaking at Digital Summit, "The Economist" was there and so we had a conversation about them getting into the purpose conversation. And they want to be part of the purpose conversation, they want to talk about it with the world, but they don't want to just perpetuate what has already been said, they want to move the conversation forward. And so for the last year, I've been helping them craft that conversation and what we know to be true is that the conversation about purpose can't just be about the why, it needs to move more into the how. So the why conversation about purpose like why it's important to be a purpose-driven company, that's not a new conversation. We've been having that conversation for decades. What needs to happen is a deeper conversation about the how so that these organizations can have a roadmap for this transformation. Because the truth is is that the problems that companies are facing today those can't be solved by a deeper investment, in money, in your marketing, or just throwing more technology and tools to the mix.
Organizations need purpose. They also need high-performing teams in order to become adaptive, responsive, agile, and to be able to face the world that we're living in today. So that's what I'm here to talk with you about. I'm going to share with you so many things today that are going to help you build a purpose-driven organization and ultimately bring purpose alive in the day-to-day actions of your entire company. So we're gonna talk through self-awareness, we're gonna talk through trust and vulnerability, and also talk through cohesion. These are three of the largest components that will help your company build high-performing, self-managed teams that will help you achieve your purpose. Are you guys ready to go?
Mackenzie: Are you sure? All right, here we go. So I'm gonna jump right in with self-awareness. So I do a lot of my work in the org design space, and that's just a fancy way of saying that I help companies achieve their purpose by helping their teams work better together. And a lot of times when I come into these organizations they wanna start with the big stuff, they wanna go directly to their org chart and just completely take it apart and put it back together. And it's not like that that might not need some more love, but the fact of the matter is that they need to be starting with the people who are running those systems. So transformation is really hard because it isn't transforming systems and processes, that's part of it, but it's transforming people, it's getting them to change and that is the hardest part. And when people are not equipped with things like self-awareness, when they don't have the tools to better understand themselves or better understand their coworkers, then you can change the systems and the processes in your company all you want, but you're not going to get anywhere.
So if your team is willing to do the work, and again, these things I'm gonna talk about today, you have power over your own team even if you don't have power to change your entire organization, you can start small. But if your team is willing to do the work then ultimately you can give them self awareness tools that will help them be more high-functioning. So one of the most amazing self-awareness tools I've ever come across is from the Conscious Leadership Group and that's a video that we're going to watch for a couple minutes here. So let's take a look.
Woman 1: Are you working from present or the drama triangle? Brought to you by the Conscious Leadership Group. Find them on the web at www.conscious.is. Conscious leaders know the difference between working from present and working from the drama triangle. Presence is above the line and drama is below the line. Most leaders and most organizations spend most of their time in the drama triangle. Drama is characterized by blame, wanting to be right, toxic fear, and adrenaline. Like good dramas at the movies all drama has characters that play certain roles. The drama triangle has a hero, a villain, and a victim. The job of the hero is to seek temporary relief. The key word is temporary. The hero is the one who gives a hungry person a fish sandwich rather than teaching them how to fish. The hero doesn't want others or themselves to feel bad so they say and do things that make the immediate pain go away without facing and dealing with the core issue. When I'm exhausted from overworking, I hero myself by eating and drinking mindlessly, or surfing the web, or exercising. When another feels sad, I hero them by saying things like, "It'll be okay," or "I'll do it for you." The hero seeks value by being needed by others.
The second role in the drama triangle is the villain. The villain's job is to blame. I can blame myself, others, or blame the group. When I blame myself I say things like, "I shouldn't have eaten that doughnut," or, "I should work harder," or, "I messed up that presentation." When we blame others we say, "It's your fault we didn't get that project done," or, "You didn't give your best effort." When we blame a group we're saying, "They messed it up for all of us," or, "They just don't get it." The final role in the triangle is the role of victim. The victim is at the effect of life is happening to them. For the victim a person, circumstance, or condition is doing something or not doing something that is causing the victim's life to be as it is. I can be at the effect of anything including my boss, my kids, the weather, my job, the traffic, the economy, my body, and my mood. When I'm in victim I'm feeling powerless. Every role in the drama triangle is a form of victim consciousness and in the end everyone is trying to prove that they are the biggest victim.
When people in teams work in presence the roles change. The victim moves from victim to being the creator, they take responsibility for their lives and stop complaining about what is happening to them. The villain becomes the challenger. Challenges bring healthy pressure to the creator to support them in facing and dealing with their lives in a way that creates a breakthrough. Unlike the villain, they don't blame or criticize. In present, the hero becomes the coach. The coach doesn't try to fix anyone. They see everyone as fully-empowered creators of their own lives and seek to support them in taking responsibility for creating the life they most want. Leaders and teams that learn to play in the creator, coach, or challenger roles of presence find they are more creative, engaged, aligned, and energized. They have more fun and get more things done. So are you working from presence or the drama triangle?
Mackenzie: Can you see yourself in there? I'm real good at heroing and I'm also really good at being a victim, and sometimes a villain. So the purpose of a tool like this is not necessarily to build this competition in your team and get everybody to compete to being who is above the line the most, it's ultimately to generate self-awareness. So it's not about being right, it's about trying to think of this is how you're showing up in your team. So some of the conversations that you can have with your team about a tool like this is essentially just recognizing how they are being below the line in much of their work, or if any of their work, and that's going to help them understand that they are needing to pay attention to maybe their feelings, how their body is reacting to times when they're triggered to maybe be below the line, so paying attention to those things is going to get them to be more self-aware ongoing and to help them be better as a team. Eventually they will know that they need to make a different choice than resorting to those other behaviors.
So when you're below the line it's really putting yourself in a very powerless position, so working yourself closer to the line to be above it is really helping you to be more powerful. So there's a few things that you can think about when applying this work with your team. So the first thing is really just naming when you're in reaction to something that may be triggering that behavior for you to go below the line. Just using that language and saying, "Man, I'm really blowing it today. I really feel like I'm below the line." It releases some of that stress and that anxiety that's part of maybe being in that really hard place. The other thing is it is really just shifting yourself when you're below the line to wonder and curiosity. So the minute you can say, "Oh, I wonder why my boss all of a sudden changed her mind about that? I thought we made a decision. There must be something deeper that's going on that I don't know about." Just changing that from where you're trying to be right or maybe be angry, to wonder and curiosity shifts you from judgment into empathy right away.
And also just really like changing the, I guess, physical state of your body, like maybe you need to move, take a deep breath, go for a walk if you're gonna be in a meeting that you really don't wanna be in, that again, helps you shift your mindset. Also it's important to know that you're assuming positive intent about what it is that you're working on with your colleagues. So a lot of times we build up stories about what we think is going on that are completely untrue, and they just work us into being below the line. So it's important to assume positive intent. And then finally, just work on what's in your control. You can control your attention, your behavior, and your choices. You can't control somebody else. So it's your job to be thinking about how you're showing up and then also how you can work towards being above the line. When that's happening among the people on your team you guys have some pretty powerful stuff going on.
So the second part of the self-awareness things that I'm going to share with you today have to do with check in rounds. So does anybody in here know what I mean by check in round? Do you use check in rounds in your company? Raise a hands. No one. All right, sweet. You're gonna learn something new today. So a check in round would be, for example, if at the start of your meetings you say, you go around the room and you ask a question, "What has your attention today?" So in that moment before you start this meeting you're basically asking the room to contribute in rounds. So before you start you're basically opening up the space allowing everybody an opportunity to speak and you're really asking them to shift into being in that meeting that you're coming into. But there's another tool that works even deeper than that, and it's from a company called Reboot, not sure if you've heard of them before. They're an amazing coaching company and they help entrepreneurs and leaders all over the world really understand how to be their whole selves in a leadership role. If you haven't checked them out I would highly recommend doing that.
But ultimately, Reboot shares this tool that's a red, yellow, green for check ins. So rather than just asking the question, "What has your attention," you basically walk into the conversation and you teach your team self-awareness through colors. So at the beginning of the meeting when they're checking in very briefly you can say they're saying to themselves, "I'm showing up as green." So if you're green, you're completely present, ready to go, you're above the line, you're ready to do this work with your team today. If you're yellow, you're bringing something into the room with you that essentially is just kind of mulling around in your mind and it's keeping you from being present. And the third action in the check in if your teammate or you feel this way is red and that is ultimately, you don't belong in this meeting. There is something that is going on either in your personal or professional life that is emergent and needs to be handled, and you'd be better off if you didn't join the meeting today. So this check in round is really quick, it's not intended to have people go into a huge emotional breakdown about what's going on, it's meant to acknowledge and help them understand that what they're carrying into the room is not only gonna affect how they're showing up, but also how the team is showing up. So it's important that you keep that quick and then understand and apply that empathy.
So I have been working with Reboot for a long time now, in terms of being a client of theirs and I was in a peer group with them in a circle. And we had been doing check ins for months in our circles and it took me a while to realize this, but every time I checked in I was yellow and for some reason one day it just clicked like why am I yellow every time I come into this meeting? And ultimately, yellow into all the meetings that I'm walking into and it made me realize that I just carry shit with me all the time that doesn't belong where I am. And so that was a huge awakening for me to know that I can just come where I am at work or at home and be present and choose that over carrying all this baggage with me all the time. So just a little something to let you guys know about. It's a process and it takes a lot of practice.
So the next tool about self-awareness that I wanna share with you is really about doing personal visions. And this is a tool that I took from a company called Paterson and it comes in three phases. You're going to answer these questions yourself and ultimately your team will as well. Where are you going? Sorry, where are you today? Where you going? And how will you get there? So the way it works is with the where are you today is asking yourself what are all the things about your reality, all the good things and maybe also the bad things both in your personal and your professional life. The second question is, "Where are you going?" So the future vision this takes a little bit of dreaming. Imagine you climbed a mountain, you've already summited to the very top and you can see all of the things that you have achieved. So go ahead and get those things down on a list like they already happened.
And then the final piece is, "How are you going to get there?" And this is going to take a little bit of tactical work and you might need some help from your teammates in order to understand what are the steps you're going to need to take to get up this mountain. And ultimately, how is your team going to help you to achieve that? And this is something we'll talk more about with the peer feedback later in the presentation. So ultimately, this tool is meant to get your team really understanding individually what is it that they want to do here in this company and also in their lives? That puts the initiative in their hands, and also when they're sharing these stories around the room with your team you're humanizing the group, and you're allowing them to understand everybody not only professionally, but personally. And that's a really big component to high-performing teams. So I'm just scratching the surface here on this stuff today, but ultimately, want you to really hear that self-awareness is a component to building your team, that is a requirement anymore. People want to come as their whole selves to work and it's your responsibility to provide some of those tools for them to get these amazing teams that will help you achieve your purpose.
So the next component in this is trust and vulnerability. So I'm just gonna be honest with you on this one. This is a fucking hard worn path. Trust and vulnerability, it's not the stuff that you may be here like going on a retreat with your team, and going through trust falls, and catching people and all that stuff. Going on a ropes course. All of those things serve a purpose, workshops, bonding, retreats, all of those things are great for your company, but those aren't really the things that build trust and vulnerability inside of your organization. I help these teams function better and when we're in these workshops and I'm with them in these maybe retreats, if you will, everybody's engaged, everybody is pro trust and pro vulnerability, but then maybe the next week when I'm on site with these teams and they're doing their work in the day-to-day, I'm watching the gossiping go on, I'm watching people talk shit about other people, and decisions that were made in meetings that they agreed to behind their back. So I'm just here to tell you that trust is something that is earned through courage, honesty, and being willing to conflict and ultimately, fail a lot with the people that you work with. And so today I'm going to talk a little bit about a team chartering tool that is going to help you work towards some of the ways that in the day-to-day you can build this trust.
So this tool I borrowed from The Ready. It's essentially, an alignment tool. Team chartering is all about getting your team on the same page and even if you've worked with each other for a long time I would highly recommend that you go back and do these steps. So essentially, everything starts with purpose always, so this is the how and what's going to be different after you guys do all of your work together, how will the world be different? The mission of your team is different from your purpose, this is the daily work that you're going to do, your mission is your shorter term objectives that you want to achieve in order to accomplish that purpose. Values are extremely important inside of your team. An exercise you can do for this is have your entire team come to the table with their personal values, get them all up on the wall, filter through them, narrow them down to a list of about 10 and then know that those are the values that you're going to hold as a team as you work together.
One of my favorite things about doing mission purpose and values with teams is introducing user manuals to me. And so basically, this is a real quick exercise you can do in Trello with your team where you're just answering questions like, "What drives you nuts? What makes you quirky?" Things that they might not understand you, but that are important to you when you're working with other people and just naming these things and putting them out in the open is really, really important. So you're also going to go through communication and work space. Teams who are adaptive and responsive they work out in the open. So what tools are you going to use? If you're remote, how are you going to work together? And ultimately, when you're talking about meetings, the meetings that you're going to have together that's gonna be a big conversation. Most of your life is wasted in meetings that don't do anything for you, so it's a good idea to look at meetings ultimately from a standpoint of purpose and whether you need them in the first place. You could ditch all your meetings for a week and see what you really miss or just take a look at the meetings that you have in your schedule now, and really question their purpose.
One of the meetings that is the most important meetings that you can have with your team is a retrospective. How many have retrospectives in here? Okay, some of you, great. So don't miss those meetings. I know in the marketing world the pace is fanatic and it's really hard to commit time to these things, but you have to be looking at how your team is working together really weekly. So ultimately, this is not about what did we ship this week? This is how did we work together this week? This is what did we learn? Where did we fail? How can we practice our trust, and vulnerability, and self-awareness? We can do it in these retro meetings. So it's important that you don't miss these meetings and that you apply your self-awareness when you're in them.
The last pieces of the team chartering is guardrails and norms, and that's basically just understanding as you're working together as a team what are the things that are going to need to be solved so that you can get them out of your way and fully achieve your purpose? Everything from, what is our travel budget? To, are we keeping an eye on each other and making sure that we're taking care of our mental health? So that's all about team chartering. Just to kind of drive the point home about how important this is don't skip it. It seems fluffy, but it is literally the glue of your team. So make sure that you're taking the time to design your charter. And also when you do these things and get them like, for example, in a Trello board, you're getting all of those tiny details out of the way so you guys can focus on stuff that you really need to be doing. Like complex thinking and being creative.
It also needs to be put in an adaptive and accessible place so that your entire team can access it. So like I said, Trello is a great spot. Make sure that you know it's dynamic, it's not something you'll change all the time, but when you do have changes make sure that you talk with your team about them. And finally, know that just because you have a team charter doesn't mean your team is gonna be a bad ass. You really have to be working on your behaviors in your day-to-day in order to make that happen. So not only is self-awareness important, trust is important, vulnerability is a huge component to high-functioning teams as well. Have you heard of Project Aristotle? That Google did? This is some of the work from that. So basically, Google did a study about what are the biggest components of high-performing teams, the best teams in the world in their organizations and they found that it's really not about the aces and having the top people on your team. It's really about the behavior inside of the team and how the team is working together. So they found five components that are imperative to high functioning teams, psychological safety, dependability, structure and clarity, meaning and also the impact they're making on the world. So of all of those things the only one that is really a must have in terms of have to have all the time, can't compromise, is psychological safety. And that's where your team feel safe to be vulnerable and take risks in front of each other. Because the basic gist is that we don't wanna feel incompetent or have people think of us as incompetent. And so ultimately, when you don't have psychological safety on your team, your team members most likely will not show up as their whole selves and that brings a whole host of behaviors that are so below the line they don't even make the list.
So even to the extent of maybe somebody coming to work and always acting like they so have it together, that they know everything, they've got it going and then at home they're completely falling apart, so stressed out that their family doesn't wanna be around them. So ultimately, an easy way to help your team with psychological safety is just helping them name these behaviors so that they have some common language that comes to the surface and allows them to be real in the space. So one of the things we always name is healthy conflict. Conflict is important to the functioning of your team. If your team is not conflicting in person, if you guys are always really nice there's something missing from your team. So make sure that when your team is having conflict help them work through it in a very healthy way. Make sure they know it's okay to have it, have those emotional conversations, but keep the focus on the work, not the person, when you're going to that conflict. And ultimately, push for a resolution that you have committed to together. It's not about consensus...sorry, it's not about consent, it's about consensus. Making sure that everybody is behind the mission and purpose of the decision that is going to move the company forward.
The second thing that's important to name is back-channeling. Everybody in the room does this and if you say that you don't do that I might call you a liar because even I do it sometimes. Back-channeling is basically being in a meeting, let's say, and agreeing to something that your team has discussed and then after the meeting you go on to have side conversations and you bad mouth the decision or you bad mouth the people. Or just entirely try to derail what's going on in your team. So back-channeling is important to be aware of, it's very common, it's okay that your team has side conversations about things that are going on in meetings, but make sure that that's bringing value back to the team and in the place where you're working everybody is aware of these side conversations that are going on.
And finally, one of the naming pieces that is really powerful is holding or taking up the space. So as we all know everybody is very different and the way they show up in your company and in your work is very different from each other. So allowing people to name whether they're taking up the space or holding the space for somebody else is really helpful especially for the people who are afraid to speak up, or maybe they're more shy. It's not about allowing the people who are shy to talk more, and putting them on the spot, and giving them a chance to speak, they can decline the chance in a round, but at least they're given the opportunity. So this is another self-awareness piece that helps build the vulnerability on your team. So as you work together and you name things as a team bringing these things out in the open you can create a glossary that you can just continue to build and ultimately see how far your team has come. Because operating in the drama triangle is not going to help you create a self-managed or a high-performing team and it really won't help you get anywhere. So really think about meeting your team where they are, understanding that this is a process, this is a long journey, for your team to understand that they need to trade certain behaviors that may be pretty negative and not very effective or serve themselves or your team, to something that is going to be way more effective in helping them be happier as a person and also helping your team be more effective.
So the final piece in high-functioning teams that I'll talk about today is cohesion. And essentially, when I'm talking about cohesion I'm talking about taking all of the things that we just discussed and they have all come together and built up. As you have implemented the self-awareness things, as your team has been working on trust and vulnerability day-in-day-out, now, your team is ready to do some bigger things with cohesion. And what I mean by that is that with superpowers and a peer feedback system you can help this team now that is fully functioning, really coming together to achieve the purpose you're here to achieve. So a while ago when I was building a team, when I was hiring people I was completely missing the boat and I was really looking for people who fit a job description and had a specific title or history in their work, and really I needed to be looking for the human. Ultimately, I learned a great deal about hiring well, just by going through that process. But I learned that roles in organizations are very important because they provide structure and clarity, but they don't mean anything. They don't make a difference in terms of who the people are who serve them in terms of them bringing who they are to the role. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that you're looking for the human, you're not looking for somebody who's going to fit a job description.
What makes people powerful is bringing their whole selves to your team. So one of the tools that we use for this is called super powers and I borrowed this from SYPartners, and you would need to go to their website to buy the deck for superpowers and the URL is on the slide, but you can also Google them. So basically, the way this superpowers deal works is you're going to go through a deck of cards that are a bunch of even over scenarios, so this over that, and you're going to identify what your superpowers are. It's hard to just identify one so it's really important to give your team the freedom to know that they could be more than one superpower. I also put the superpowers and what they actually are all across the room so once a team has identified their superpowers they can go around and read what all those powers are on their team even if they don't possess them. And then I have the team make a poster about what their superpower is, so again, this has nothing to do with their role in the company, this has everything to do with who they are as a human being.
And then once they make their posters, now I have them share that with the company and ultimately it works best when you ask them to partner up and share each other's superpowers, so that they get to know their teammates more than they're getting to know themselves. Finally, it's not just about going through this exercise in terms of superpowers of, "Yay, that's so cool. We did this as a team." But it's really about how you use it moving forward. So as your team is working together, as you're in your retros, as you're checking in, all of these things are places for everyone on your team to recognize what is that person really good at? Like they have a lot of grit, or they're a harmonizer, or they're a cultural compass, or they're somebody who is really going to help us think about these systems. That's what you're looking for to integrate into your culture as you're in your day-to-day.
So the final tool that I'm gonna share with you today is a peer feedback system. And this is something that I wrote about several years back and it's on Medium, and it's incredibly detailed if you want the play-by-play. But here's basically, how this works is for a long time when I was building a company I had the weight of the world on my shoulders and felt like I was the only one who had any responsibility in our success. I was the one who was mentoring the team, I was the one who was helping them level up, I would have everything and now you're hearing in this equation I, I, I. Where was everybody's role in helping carry this company and the purpose we were trying to achieve? So finally, I just went to the team and I said, "Hey, I can't do this on my own. I need your help to be able to build this really great company to achieve our purpose and to move us forward. So how do I get out of being the only one responsible?" And so one of the things the team came up with was a peer feedback system, a five-step process where, ultimately, we were going to put the onus and the initiative for the growth of individual employees and our company on the entire team.
So basically, how it worked is there were teams of three, they would all give each other feedback and once the three people who were on the team of three everybody got the feedback they would then switch out the teams of three. So it was constantly rotating who was giving whom feedback. And then they would meet quarterly, so they would be responsible for giving feedback to each other at least once a month and by the end of the year the entire company was able to give everybody feedback at least twice. They would meet offsite, it would be 60-minute meetings where they would exchange feedback, 20 minutes to give, 20 minutes to receive, maybe 10 minutes to get a coffee and a cookie. And then they would use this feedback chart, if you will, to talk with each other about what they needed to work on. And these questions that were in the peer feedback system like, where are you going? And what else would you like feedback about? And here are the things you do really well that I see and hear the things that you need to work on.
All of that stuff was connecting to all of the effort we were spending on self-awareness, trust, and vulnerability. So this system really tied everything together. We made the data public so everybody could read each other's feedback reviews, and so we put that in Google Docs and every time we had a session like, let's say one quarter of feedback, I would get together with a senior member of the team and we would aggregate it all so that we were aware of what was going on and we could leverage that in one-on-ones. And then ultimately, there was a retro baked in so that everybody could see what we were learning and we would ask the team what they felt about the system and how it was serving them. So the thing that is the coolest about peer feedback is that once our team started doing this, man, was the pressure off of me and what a different company we had. Ultimately, we became self-managed together and they started working together better, communicating better, being better for our clients, and all because I stopped assuming all of the power and I essentially distributed it to the team.
So not just the peer feedback system, just all the things that I've been talking with you about today, these things are a non-negotiable, these are gifts that you're giving to these people on your team as individuals as much as it is giving this gift to your company. So the things that I'm talking about today just pay dividends and in so many ways that I can't even articulate in words. So I'm gonna finish up for you here and just give you the top three things to take with you. It's important that self-awareness is part of your practice as a company. That may sound shocking to you and you might be thinking, "Why the hell would I bring people's feelings and their whole selves into our company?" Well, those people as their whole selves are better for you and they're also going to be better for achieving your purpose and better for our world as a whole. So it's really important that you use self-awareness as the foundation of a high-functioning team.
Trust is an experiential journey. That stuff cannot be learned or behaved with if you're just doing it in retreats, and like, if you will, the really fun things that build your culture I'm not saying don't do those things, but what I'm saying is trust is built in the arguments that you have in your meetings. The healthy ones. Trust is built when maybe you go behind somebody's back and then you go to them and say, "Look, I was really upset by that," or, "I have the courage to help you understand that I'm not okay with what's going on." Those things build trust, those things build vulnerability, and you really need to make that commitment to be there with your team. And finally, it's not about the role that your people have been hired to fill, it's about who they are as humans. And so looking beyond that and transferring the power that maybe you feel like it's all on your shoulders to run your team and carry your team, that power belongs to everybody. So the minute you release that is the minute your team will be higher-functioning.
So the things I've shared with you today these along with purpose, a purpose-driven mindset, is what is going to bring growth to your company because the world is gonna keep spinning at an exponential rate and the amount of change that we're faced with on a daily basis. It's not possible for us to adapt unless we're building companies who have these things. Thank you.