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Josh and Erick focus this week’s episode on the importance of keeping your team connected during crisis situations. They discuss how Codelation has been trying to keep our teams connected while working remote through business update videos, conference calls, etc.

VO: Get ready for your semi-regular dose of random ideas from the guys at Codelation. We like to talk about big ideas companies that are winning, and those that aren't along with current events in our crazy world of software startups. So come along with Erick and Josh, who challenge you to think big, start small and turn your ideas into something on this episode of, from idea to done.

Josh: Hey everyone, I'm Josh

Erick: And I'm Erick. And in this episode, we're going to talk about how a founder should communicate in a crisis without getting too political. I've been like really, really impressed with the way some leadership has acted during this time. And I've been very less than impressed with others. And so Josh, as a founder, what are your thoughts on how other founders should communicate in a crisis?

Josh: So I think the first thing you want to make sure you're doing is to really open up communication and you don't want, you know, an org chart hiding, uh, you know, blocking that communication, no matter how big or how small you are. Um, you want everyone to have direct access to those making decisions, whether that's, you know, emails, slack, phone calls, uh, whatever makes sense for your organization. Um, and the one thing that, um, we've implemented lately have been one-on-one meetings, um, which has been really valuable and I've discovered things that I probably would've missed otherwise if I didn't have them.

Erick: And I realistically, we're a pretty small team and not that you would have done this, but you honestly, you can't hide behind anything. The team, the only, you're only saving graces, we're remote right now. And that's your only hiding. But, um, I think a lot of your tips can get kind of lost when you have bigger organizations. And so I've, I've really appreciated your openness with everything that's been going on. So what's your next tip?

Josh: Yeah, and I, I didn't think we were being overly transparent, but after, you know, talking with a few people, who've been putting pretty much everything out there. So, um, the next tip is don't show, uh, sugarcoat anything you want to make sure that you're open and transparent. Um, you know, we've gone through some rough patches here and there over the last year. And one thing, um, I did was I opened up the communication and put all of our client's receivables and, you know, project expectations onto a spreadsheet so that everyone can see if we don't get this, you know, project closed out by this time we can't start on the next one. Um, each week we'd review and kind of walk through a little video about what I'm expecting, um, to really help, you know, hit payroll. So that was one thing we did, um, as things kind of got tricky, um, going through, going through life and business.

Erick: And I've super appreciate you explaining kind of where we've been with with all of our finances through this time. And even just in the past, like, I really liked that you've been open about what's going on at a federal level even, and kind of where our loans are and our processes with that. And I assume that the rest of the team has appreciated your having multi-layered communicated plans. And so that kind of leads us to our last tip. And this one is kind of been like a really my biggest, like struggle with being remote. So what's the last piece to your crisis puzzle,

Josh: Um, work towards a common goal. If we can all circle around something and have a north star that we're working towards, you know, that everyone, everyone needs to believe in it also, but, um, as long as we're working towards a goal together, we at least have focused on something and, you know, take like the COVID stuff that we're going through right now that, uh, it can be scary. You don't know what clients are going to do or where revenues are going to come in. Um, but if we're all working towards something, uh, we at least have that, you know, kind of, uh, to bond us together through this.

Erick: And I think like that, that has been my, again, it's been my biggest challenge being remote is working towards something and keeping, I feel like being in the office, everyone kind of keeps me going towards that goal. And me being by myself, I'm kind of like, well, I could eat some Starbursts right now. It's just a little bit, and it's tougher for me to stay on task, but, you know, even having all of those other pieces in place has, has kind of really keep me out of Erik island. And so I thank you for taking one normally like normal tasks that is us recording these on Fridays and keeping me accountable and keeping that at least on pace.

Josh: Yeah, you're welcome. I, I definitely have, um, it's easy to let the calendar slip that's for sure. And, you know, I've, I felt the weirdness of being remote and it's, it's good and bad all at the same time. And one thing I felt is that, you know, we're, we're a small team of just over 10 people. And the thing I have found is that, you know, we have a marketing island and then we have a app development in island and then we have our web development island and trying to keep cross communication, um, is a struggle when everybody's remote and kind of working towards their own tasks. Um, so one step I'm taking is that we sent out a survey to the team. Um, but when we can meet and have a kind of state of the union to get everyone together, talk to the bigger picture and just be able to see each other. Um, so that's one thing I haven't done a good enough job with and that's, uh, I just went back to the Google forum before we started here. It looks like we're going to be holding those about every time, the weeks. Perfect.

Erick: And I, and even in like our marketing island, I've had to at least have a meeting with everyone every two weeks just to, just to reign all of our madness. So I think that that will be good for all of the islands to kind of converge. And I think it'll certainly kind of help keep us, you know, running towards the same north star that we've kind of been missing lately. And so, thanks for listening to our episode, if you know, a startup that could use some advice, have them subscribe and leave a review on iTunes.

Next Episode

App Master’s Steve Young On Focusing On Your Marketing

About the Show

Erick and Josh talk about big ideas, companies that are winning and those that aren’t, and current events in the crazy world of software startups.

Josh Christy


Erick Roder

Director of People
and Nerd Culture

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