What’s the best way to scale your organization?

Joe Gebbia (Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer at Airbnb)
How Design Thinking Transformed Airbnb from a Failing Startup to a Billion Dollar Business | First Round Review

At Airbnb, the company encourages new employees to ship new features on their first day at the company. It earns them their sea legs and shows that great ideas can come from anywhere. This approach yields results in unexpected ways.

What’s the best way to keep productivity high?

Adam Grant (Wharton professor, NYT writer)
9 Productivity Tips from People Who Write About Productivity

Intentionally leave important tasks incomplete. We often race to finish assignments quickly so that we can move on to the next item on our list. [There is a] human tendency to ruminate over unfinished tasks, otherwise known as the Zeigarnick Effect. If you start a project and leave it unfinished, you’re bound to think about it more frequently than after it’s done. Instead of aiming to complete important tasks in one sitting, try leaving them inco… (read more)

What’s the best way to keep morale high?

Sebastian Hooker (User Experience (UX) Designer at pc/nametag)
Celebrating Small Successes — Medium

Send out a weekly or bi-weekly email to your team. Keep it short and to the point. Highlight the company’s most recent accomplishments. Thank individual members. If there have been setbacks, list them here. Finally, explain what is next.

What’s the best way to keep morale high?

Lawrence Chong (CEO at Consulus)
6 Ways to Recover Joy at Work

Create clarity of purpose: Leaders should explain the rationale and the value of doing things on a regular basis and at all levels. Design teamwork: Design policies and reward systems that recognize the team that made it happen. Identify moments when departments reached out to each other to solve a problem. Manage differences: Have people trained in mediation and regularly intervene to address frictions in a calm manner with proper facilitation. … (read more)

What’s the best way to keep morale high?

Teresa Amabile (Professor of Business Administration and a Director of Research at Harvard Business School)
The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work

Of all the positive events that influence inner work life, the single most powerful is progress in meaningful work; of all the negative events, the single most powerful is the opposite of progress—setbacks in the work.

What’s the best way to keep morale high?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Practical advice on how to raise motivation | A Founder’s Notebook

1. Write your purpose statement. Ask what one thing you’d like your group to be known for accomplishing. 2. Create a “purpose trajectory”. By having each person connect their everyday responsibility and role with the far-reaching purpose, individuals can create a larger context within which to make decisions. 3. Reinforce with great stories. At weekly staff meetings have one team member share a story of something they or a colleague did that supp… (read more)

What’s the best way to keep morale high?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
The Management Framework that Propelled LinkedIn to a $20 Billion Company | First Round Review

While celebrating wins is hard but important, I know from personal experience that founders can be particularly bad at it. How LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner runs staff meetings was helpful: Weiner also kicks off these weekly staff meetings a bit unconventionally with wins. Before delving into metrics or the business at hand, he goes around the room and asks each of his direct reports to share one personal victory and one professional achievement from … (read more)

What’s the best way to keep morale high?

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup Playbook

If you’re growing, it feels like youre winning, and people are happy. If you’re growing, there are new roles and responsibilities all the time, and people feel like their careers are advancing. If you’re not growing, it feels like youre losing, and people are unhappy and leave. If you’re not growing, people just fight over responsibilities and blame.

What’s the best way to give feedback?

Unknown (who knows!?)
How to listen without judging — a guide for managers | A Founder’s Notebook

Judge the outcome, not the person. If someone delivers a sub-standard result, then I try to see it as a function of the strategy being wrong or the execution being wrong, but not the person being bad at it. Part of the mentorship challenge is figuring out what motivates the person. Some people respond well to a harsh critique – it shakes them up and gets them focused on really improving. For me, as a worker, earned praise is a really awesome psy… (read more)