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3 key lessons we learned over the last year that helped grow our team in numbers and personal development.

2019 was a year of growth for Ombud. We added 20 new Ombuddies to our team (including a VP of Engineering and Director of Product Management), built a new website from the ground up, and started a new operating schedule. With all this change, we learned some valuable lessons over the year. We wanted to share the top 3 key lessons we learned with you: 

1. Have a Constant Pursuit of Knowledge

Book clubs have become a norm over the last year at Ombud. We read Radical Candor, The Credibility Code, and Deep Work. While some were better than others, these readings started us on a journey of being intentional in our conversations and workplace environment. If we’re spending 40 hours a week with these people and in this office, how can we improve and maximize that experience?

Radical Candor taught us to care personally and challenge directly. Our conversations are candid and direct, which helps us drive the business forward. The Credibility Code showed us how to speak to superiors in a confident way, so we can give the crucial feedback our business needs to succeed. Finally, Deep Work taught us to be intentional with our work habits and setting. Right now, our team is working on creating a “Deep Work” room where you can go to focus on your work and minimize distraction. 

Outside of book clubs, we also explored other ways of thinking. Early in 2019, we added our Meditation Room. Each Wednesday morning, we have a group who live the “Om” part of Ombud to its fullest extent and start their day off in mindfulness.

2. Give Your People an Avenue to Change the Business

In 2019, we changed to a new operating schedule. Every six weeks, we execute on objectives and give ourselves time to look back on what we’ve accomplished, and what lacked in our performance. This goes all the way from leadership objectives to individual contributor objectives, and everyone is held to the same standard. 

Our objectives aren’t just created by the leadership team and trickled down, though. We’ve developed a nomination system where anyone in the company can bring up an idea to the whole team to vote on. Then, if that idea gets enough votes, that Ombuddy is responsible for that objective, develops a team, and executes against it.

Some of the notable additions from these cross-functional objectives are: planning our holiday party, creating our new website, and making the blog you’re reading right now! When we started empowering our people to nominate and execute against big ideas, we all flourished. 

3. Be Open to New Ideas

One of our core values, Thought Leadership, is defined as “mediocrity is not the fail-safe.” This year, we put it to the test. We changed our operating schedule, re-organized our Customer Success department, and redefined our product roadmap! 

These ideas came from every department and level of the organization to help us “move the needle,” as Thad, our CEO, would say. We empowered new hires with outside experience to help us think differently about how we’ve been doing things and empowered more junior-level employees to voice concerns and bring innovative ideas to the table. 

By listening more than we speak and testing new strategies, we gained success in ways we would have never imagined before.

Looking Forward 

Around here, we’re excited to see how much our team grows and evolves in 2020. We’re already starting off strong by being added to BuiltInColorado’s 50 Best Small Companies to Work For in 2020 list and already having 2 hires ready to start. 

Cheers to the New Year!

Want to join our team? Check out our open positions at ombud.com/careers!

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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