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WGT: Becoming a self-organising company with Luke Kyte - part 1 [transcript]

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Please enjoy this transcript of my interview with Luke Kyte, Head of Culture at Reddico.


Following a cultural revolution, Reddico was named the 4th best place to work in the UK in 2020. Luke Kyte, Reddico's Head of Culture, shares the story behind the revolution and the journey that allowed them to become a self-organising company. Part 1 of 2.

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Trust, freedom and responsibility - becoming a self organising company Part 1

Lech: [00:00:00] Ladies and gents, thank you very much for tuning in yet again, and this time you will listen to my interview with Luke Kyte, the Head of Culture at Reddico, which is a digital SEO agency . And following a cultural revolution Reddico was named as the fourth best place to work in the UK in 2020.

And it was that cultural revolution at Radiko that I wanted to find out more about from Luke and very early on into my chat with Luke, I realized there is no way I can do it justice in just one episode. So rather than even try, I just let it run. And that's why this interview is actually in two parts in two separate episodes.

In part one, we look at the reasons Reddico wanted to go through this cultural revolution and become a self organizing company. So everything about how it started, what it looked like, in terms of introducing a new structure, removing managers, introducing flexible working and unlimited holidays. And part of that discussion is also the recruitment process.

In part two, we continued talking about the recruitment process, especially the onboarding of new people and getting them used to self-management, setting their own targets and working in this type of environment. I also asked Luke about things that haven't gone exactly to plan and what they've learned from all of that as part of their journey to becoming a self-organizing company.

Here's part one of my interview would Luke Kyte.

Luke, welcome. Very, very much to the podcast. I'm really glad to have you. I'm going to start with my usual question for all my guests, which is when you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Luke Kyte: [00:02:09] Well, hello, first of all, thank you very much for having me. It's great to be here. So I think when I was little, there were a few things I wanted to be in. And what were you sticks out as either a teacher, which I'm really glad I didn't become a teacher because I just don't have the patience for it anymore.

I think hybrids I'm just not, not No fit for sort of classroom life anymore. Some of you guys are good on that very bad. She never was a writer and being an author. And I remember being really little and writing all these stories about Cowboys and aliens and policemen and all that kind of stuff.

And I think I even wrote a series where my dad was some James Bond type character, trying to save the world and all that kind of stuff, and having to read all these stories on mom. And so I read it looked to be an OPA and I ended up studying journalism at university and sort of becoming a writer through my career.

So I suppose I kind of got to get to that 0.1 way or the other, but it was probably why I wants to be

Lech: [00:03:00] Do you get to utilize any of your writing skills in your role at the moment?

Luke Kyte: [00:03:05] Yeah, I'd say so. So funny enough when I actually first joined practicality and the company, I mean, now I joined as a writer and I ended up in a content marketing team and. Building that out before moving over to the volume in now, and even today, I still write a lot of, and in that type of role and also write for the corporate rebels, which is a kind of a culture based or radical approach to how organizations could evolve and could work so fast.

So then as well, so I'm involved quite predominant, still being invited and trying to do that. So I don't lose touch of it.

Lech: [00:03:40] It's fascinating how, when the things that we do, we don't, when we do them, we don't necessarily see how they might come use to become useful and come in handy in, in, in the future. And only when we look back, we actually utilize, it's kind of like Steve jobs said connecting the dots. So you can only do that looking backwards.

And I find myself in a similar situation because I studied to be a teacher. I never wanted to be one, but did studied to be, to be one. So that's kind of my initial background at university. And then I went into event management, which would then it's project management, so on, so forth. But now I'm kind of back into full circle because I'm doing a lot of, kind of work for workshop facilitation, workshop design, which takes me back to what I've learned to do as, as kind of when, when potentially I was going to become a teacher, which is quite fascinating when you, when you look at it that way Corporate Rebels you say I'm actually, they came up on my radar a few weeks ago and I need to, to read the book.

I'm very, very intrigued in the work that they do. So you are a contributor to them.

Luke Kyte: [00:04:37] Yeah. So, yeah, so I started but you know, to just get a launch year sort of in the last year I I've been following the website now for probably a couple of years now. And. The, the two guys that run it just, it's amazing. Really just, they go around the world, speaking to CEOs and these companies they're really radical different things, which is really why I went straight there.

So that's what kind of took back the lecture on the oldest stuff at Reddico, I tried to take a radical approach and a different way of, of introducing things and different ideas and concepts. And a lot of that has been inspired by companies such as colorectal walls and these amazing businesses that take these cool ideas.

I think now that we've got ready to code to a place where actually we all quite radical some of the ideas and some of the things that we do are really good to sort of share on a corporate rebels was to hopefully inspire other companies and other potential CEOs and people that are testing. So a culture type roles, but they're really exciting company to work with.

Lech: [00:05:31] And kind of the whole purpose of having you on here and, and, and, and getting, getting you to, to join the show is to talk about Reddico and the stuff that you've been doing. But I thought before we get into that maybe you could tell us a little bit more how you get to become a, or get to the role that you are now, which is the, the head of culture for Reddico.

What was kind of your, your journey up until now? Because you've been with the organization more, I got the, for, for a number of years through different posts, how kind of, how did that evolve for you? How did you get to this point?

Luke Kyte: [00:06:01] Yeah. So it's a bit of a strange journey, I suppose. Again, it all led very from me studying journalism and initially wanting to go into journalism and join a national newspaper or to be a sportswriter or something like that when I was at university. And is that becoming a writer and a copywriter joined as a copywriter back in 2014, I think is around seven years ago now and brilliant cover growing quite quickly.

I think I joined the team when there was four or five people at the time, and we were just starting to very quickly move, start to be cups or plenty of awards for different things, and then bring it, people started to grow out the content team. And I suppose obviously in that fortunate position where when you come here at the very beginning and the company starts to grow, you have to, you often end up with a lot of responsibilities outside of your normal role.

So even though I was leading the content team, I was also doing a lot of stuff from an operational standpoint, and Darren working with the MD to help. Change this process or drive this forward. So I'm just doing what you're doing, bits, where it wasn't necessarily related to writing or driving that department forward, but helping the wider business as well.

And I ended up developing a bit of a knack just for getting things done and just being able to kind of roll things out, whereas new processes or anything like that. So I moved into more of an operations role and it wasn't until 2013 sort of 17 and 2018 that the business wanted to really change the culture I suppose, of the company, and really look at things that we can do differently.

And that's when essentially the managing director came up to me and said, look, we've got this idea and we think you'd be the best person to lead this forward. And at that point I just switched, I suppose, role entirely just made sizes to leave this, this culture or this people and culture, Eric, the business, just to, I suppose, trying to radically change the way we were doing it and moving from a very traditional ways to more sort of self-management Nope.

Lech: [00:07:57] That is, that is a February journey. And I, I can, I can tell you a person who I'm definitely able to relate to who likes to do all sorts of different things and just doesn't concentrate on their, on getting their job done, but other things kind of in the periphery. And I think that's kind of where these transitions into roles that you would never expect.

It that's when it happens because somebody points out. So actually you, you're pretty, pretty good at it. Why don't you do that a little bit more and I think it's a fantastic position to have a skill to have. And I really enjoy talking to people like yourself about these journeys. Okay. Let's talk about Reddico a little bit more.

I purposefully did very little research just so I can learn from you directly on what is Reddico. I know the basics. I know you're obviously a, an SEO agency but with Slightly different one in how you do things. And I know that you've placed forth as the best place to work in the UK in 2020.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the organization and then I'd really, really like to know a little bit more about the culture and the decision the organization took, but the organization first, can you tell us a little bit more?

Luke Kyte: [00:09:02] Yeah. Sure, absolutely. So does it make sense, I suppose, to start from the beginning and where we were and why we made the changes and how that looks now? So maybe as a business we predominantly are based in digital marketing. So we work in, in SEO and we've got lots of SEO clients, which for those that don't know the search engine optimization.

So it means that we essentially help businesses have visibility on Google and different search engines. That's what we do on a day to day, we were founded in 2012. So just under 10 years ago, now we've got 10 pounds of grocery next year, I think. And. We as a business obviously starts to grow quite quickly from sort of 2014, 20, 15 onwards or double in triplet in team sites.

And we got to around 2017 to 2017, around of 15, 16 people. And at the time we were still running in a very traditional way, but we tried to focus on creating a fun place to work. So like you, you tend to get in many businesses now. And we had like pub lunches and a table tennis table and an X-Box people could use and all that kind of stuff.

And then a beer fridge and we'd have regular company events and we'd go out and we'll do even less about paint, bullying or curling or the crystal maze and London, all that kind of stuff we even went on and I knew a trade. So we go over there, we've been to Budapest and Barcelona. We'd been skiing, all that kind of stuff.

All of these really fun things to do. And. For a long time. That's what we feel having a good or a great place to work was it was about this fun element and it still is like, there's still a lot of, a lot around sort bringing funds of work and making it enjoyable and making work more fun and making the office a fun place to be.

But there were all of these kinds of problems that started to accumulate. And we started to do sort of surveys amongst the team using sort of the MPS formula. So again, if people don't know what the NPS is, I can quickly explain that. So you send out survey and you get score zero to 10. And the only of reasons that all of these scores combined give you an overall score between Mont assumption plus a hundred, and they put you on a range of somewhere between poor good, excellent.

And world-class. And when we started doing these scores and the team was expecting to get lots of an accident or something like that, because we're spending all this money on creating this great or what we thought was a great place to work. But the reality was we were finding that we were only placing in the goods, which is around a team.

And there are a number of detractors in the team, which means you score between zero and six. So I think around a third at the team at the time was this is a chapter or a passive, which for us just didn't make sense because it felt like we were doing all of this stuff to promote a good culture, but it just wasn't working.

But when we started to dig into that information, even more, we realized there's all of these microaggressions, like when can I leave the office or come to the office? Or why does this person get to come in at 10? O'clock an icon. Why does this person gets to leave at two o'clock in the afternoon? But I can't.

Why is there one role for this person? And one more for this person. And there was things like micromanagement, things like clicks for me and all of these things that you get as a business starts to grow with scale, all of these kind of problems that happen. And there are things that are happening pretty much every basis.

It's a very traditional thing that the company grows. These problems start to gather, and it's, you should try to sort of firefighters as you go along and you have headshot departments and try to fight fires and solve these of these issues. And it was at this point to sort of 26, I wouldn't say it was like a breaking point.

Either we could continue going in the way we were doing and stay very traditional. We could change things. And it was the directors of the business that looked at this problem. Yeah. So we want to change this going forward so that we're not creating a fun place to work, but we're creating a great place to work in a culture.

That's, it's essentially just the best there is, but to do that. Yeah. So what's the next type a little bit day for each. And so the directors went out and started looking at, or looking for inspiration of how they could. Run the business or change the business framework to accommodate this. And this was essentially like a fact-finding exercise going out, speaking to different CEO, similar sort that at the corporate level do now, but speaking to different CEOs of businesses, reading books, that different ways of running things, trying to work out how we can move away from being verge additional, which is the way that much businesses are run to one.

That's actually getting the most out of people and putting people first and really believe in the best in people and then trusting people and all these things that a lot of businesses say they do but often don't it's adoptting that tick, tick, tick box exercise. And so from this, from this, all this research, this manifests I was created to sort of sort of back in 2017, it was a manifesto, but initially covered sort of six core areas that we wanted to change the business.

And some of them being as simple as the teams that set their own goals, some of the being as complicated as removing managers and just not having managers at all in the business. Things like having the ultimate flexible working policy, where you can choose when you start, when you end how many hours you work in a day how many days holiday you take every year and she do some things like kind of mixing a holiday saying that we'll pay people for everyday.

They're sick rather than having a limit looking at our recruitment and making sure that we can bring in people that are going to work well in this type of environment where people are going to have more and more responsibility, a lot more accountability. And there at this point, this manifest that was credited that as I kind of alluded to at the start, the MD essentially got to me and said, look, I think you're going to be the person that can help to roll this out and to drive this change.

And so over the periods of nine months in 2018, we started to roll out this, this manifesto that is these six big areas that want you to change. And from that have just continually evolved from that culture. So some district equipment in 2018, there were teething problems as you'd get rid of everything.

And some things didn't quite work and you could speak tweaks and change adjusted. Some things worked really well, absolutely seamlessly, and haven't changed sort of sense. And we've also added lots more to it as well. So when we first started this journey, we weren't really, we weren't deliberately trying to move down a self management group.

It was more, we've got these ideas that will empower people and give people more accountability. But there isn't really the same goal with self management. And later on, I read books around so that the principle is a till which is frigid and aloo and reinventing organizations and things like that. Again, something that's covered a lot by, by companies such as the corporate levels and things like that.

And it's, what are these ideas and ways of running the business, which are very different from the sort of hierarchical traditional businesses that, that you get. And it's just been a continuous evolution by speaking to the team, asking the team what the challenges are, what the pain points are, addressing these issues and trying to just create a business where essentially you believe in the best in people and you believe in that people will do the right thing and take felxible working is it's I suppose, a good place to start because to say to people, you can take as much annual leave as you want.

And you can start when you want, you can finish when you want, you can work the hours, that you want as long as you get your job done is so much trust needed to be able to offer that type of policy, but by believing the best in people and then trusting people to do that, you can do it without having any kind of reservations.

So behind it, and this leads us on to things that we do now, where we say there's a work from home budget and you can spend whatever you want to, to get to work from home comfortably. So wherever you want a desk or chairs or cameras, or you might prefer that might be, you can spend whatever you want. You can spend whatever you want on training.

So if you want to change yourself up, you've got to create a matrix. You know what you need to do going forward. You can spend whatever you want and this type of stuff. Wasn't in innovation manifesto. But it starts to evolve from that. And this led to us becoming the best place to work in the UK in 2019, I think.

And then last year, as you mentioned, as well as sort of becoming the focus types work in terms of tendencies. So hopefully this year we might be number one. But if that started, that gives a bit of context behind sort of the why and the, and the initial, how that kind of summarizes it quite nicely.

Lech: [00:17:09] That's, that's summarizes it beautifully. And it's a fantastic story to actually to hear that back in, we were saying 2016, 2017, you were already. Decades ahead of the organizations that we even have. Now, there's been a little progress within organizations that happened in that those four years, but even now with not programs that haven't, you still back then, you were, you were much further into the future and how to run organizations.

And it's actually a joy to listen to that because this is, I believe that organizations like. Reddico are the organization of the future. That's how we should run companies in the future. We're not just there yet. Rick is obviously there's a transition period. We need to undo some of the business practices of the previous few decades.

And that's going to take a while. So many things I want to gain to that. But there's one thing when just to kind of start unpicking things. The, the most fascinating one that I face so often, I hear people mention so often is what company culture is. And you mentioned that you started off, you thought it's going to be the retreats there, you know, ping pong tables, free coffee and things like that.

When actually there's deeper things. That constitute, what would that make a culture? And funnily enough, a few weeks ago, I'd put up a post on LinkedIn that just said company culture is, and isn't an isn't it isn't column was free food, coffee, bean bags, and ping pong tables.

And in the, his column was managers who listen and meaningful feedback , growth and trust. And I just asked a very simple question. Do you agree or disagree? But it was a little bit of a trick question and I'm sure you, you, you kind of alluded that to, to that as well.

It's not actually one of the other, it's a mix of both. It's just finding that balance that works for you and within your organization. And it's by, by far has been the most popular posts that I've ever put on LinkedIn because it's generated so much interest and people have so many opinions and we have a misunderstanding of what culture is.

We think it's these easy to like things easy to like behaviors, but actually it's some tough conversations that we need to have and deeper things that go into that. And it's actually fascinating to hear that you are going beyond the usual research because a lot of organizations will just put out a survey and get the results.

Maybe dig a little bit deeper, but you actually not only dug a bit deeper in kind of seeing what's going on. When further than they ask additional questions to kind of get to the bottom of that. And then you make the changes, which is where majority of organizations don't even think of going. So that's one part of, of kind of what you, what you said.

The other thing that I wanted to ask you is because obviously you mentioned the manifesto, a number of things that you did do, and some of the things that you weren't expecting that you're going to do both kind of just evolved itself, but out of the things that you focused on initially, what was one of the most important ones, not in terms of what you think was going to make the biggest difference kind of in terms of scale, but actually what brought on the biggest difference?

What was the biggest difference maker?

Luke Kyte: [00:20:10] I think the biggest difference maker was. In terms of instant win was just flexible working and not just flexible work, but having a system where you are completely responsible for how, where, where you work. Because I think there's a, there's a, there's a big difference on a lot of companies now trying to almost jumped on, on the flexible working sort of wagon at the moment.

I know the pandemic has shifted, but I mean, it's a good thing that it shifted a lot of mindsets. And I think that it's kind of helped. One of the only positives really is that it's helped businesses to see that people can work just as effectively, maybe more productively in different locations, or I could be in the office between nine and five and actually there's other ways of, of working just as effective.

But I think there's a difference. I know some companies sort of say, well, we have to, we have, we're going to have core hours. So you can start between this time and this time and finish your this time and this time. But. What we did was rather than just having, going from kind of being traditional to just a bit hard-hearted it was let's start treating people.

And for me, that helps to, I suppose, drive and spearheads kind of all the thinking, the decisions you've made since then, which is just, how can we treat people as adults. And ultimately when you think of adults, that people that can make the right decision. The people that mobile space, they know how to manage themselves and they know how to kind of organize themselves and, and work in a way that's right for them.

And when it comes to fit to work in it and the way the work is that one's very different. Some people love to get up in the morning and crackle, and it's sort of seven, eight o'clock in the morning. I can't, I need a few cups of coffee before I find any productivity. I hate getting up too early. It is completely against my nature, but some people like working late at night and then night hours.

And it should if find productivity at six, seven, o'clock maybe the midnight. We've got developers that work at the company who are often working at 10:00 PM at night, because that's when actually they find that productivity, their brain really kicks in. And when everyone is so different, why do we. Why did we, say that you have to work in exactly the same way, and we don't give people those options and opportunity to work in a way that's right for them.

And say, you have to work nine to five, five days a week. You get X amount of holiday, X amount of sick days, X amount of breaks, and you can't do this. You can't do that rather than trusting people rather than treat people as adults. And I think with the flexible work, it sounds like one of those things where lots of stuff could go wrong.

And in my head I'll be honest when we first rolled this out or when we first started looking at it, I couldn't really get my head around it because I was thinking we're going to have at the time, 20, 25 people, maybe working 20 different working patterns taking holiday whenever they want to approving their own holidays and not getting anyone else to approve it.

Maybe they're working in the office. Maybe they're working from home. Maybe they're working from a cafe, but that just sounds like bonkers It sounds like it's not able to, there's no structure to it. You can't control it. No, one is going to know where everyone is And in my head, I couldn't quite work out. How are we going to roll this out?

Without it just, just falling flat completely, and then just not working. But it's one of those, it's the thing that probably has worked the most seamlessly because you say to people, you've now got that responsibility to work, how you want, and they take that responsibility and they run with it. And then they took to that team.

They collaborate and they let people know what they're doing, and they speak to their clients and to their team members. And everyone's always aware of what's going on because you're treating even as adults and because people are adults and because you've given them that trust to do it. And so you, weren't waiting for a place where you had to come in between X and X and you have to do this.

You have to do that. It's just complete radical freedom. We have to work. And post those three concepts of trust, freedom and responsibility, I think are the three words that do define culture. And it's how much of that, how much trust, how much freedom, how much responsibility can you give people? And that's what defines that, that business culture and how successful it is and how much value people see in it.

And so outside of that, that really did kind of set the tone because it was, it was kind of a case of, yeah, we get chippy, those adults, everything we do now, every decision we get, make the, question's going to be like, how do we trust people to, to do this? Who would like, how can we get even more trusted people?

How can we treat people even more? Is that, so that route is kind of set that at any time.

Lech: [00:24:33] so in a way, a very small thing, small change of in, in perception, in mindset and approach that it made, or the fundamental difference that empowered people to take autonomy, to take initiative. And I guess you relinquish that control, which is something that. We do as humans, I guess we want to control things.

And that then goes into our, how we run our organizations. We want to have control over what's going on, that we are in charge of what's happening around destiny. And if 2020 doesn't show us that that's not the case, that no matter what you do and how much control you think you might have then 2020 comes along and tells us no, actually now I don't think there's any hope for people, organizations who kind of don't change in the recognize that yes, try and exercise some control, but you have to be prepared for the unpredictable and let things just happen.

And within what you can do probably is have some guardrails, if you will, to kind of have that margin for error, for people to operate for organizations to operate. And so you mentioned that you've removed you kind of, you got rid of. Managers you've you've changed your structure. Can you tell me a little bit more how, how that worked in terms of kind of what the process was and what your structure is like now

Luke Kyte: [00:25:59] Yeah. Sure. So again, this is one of the early things we did as part of that original manifesto. And the idea came from the concepts that a typical manager has two different sets of skills that are expected to, to sort of have, I suppose if we talk about attributes and so you've got two roles that manager plays, you've got Rollei, which is.

Someone who is the expert in that area, in that, that field. They've got a high skill level. The chances are they've been doing that job for a while. So for instance, if we take my old position, which is a writer, so someone who reads that it could be like a content manager or a content marketing manager, they're the highly skilled in the area that can do it for awhile.

They, they know their stuff like what that competency side of things. And then you've got role B, which is a completely different set of skills, which is the, the actual leadership side of things. So it's how good is someone that's empowering or motivating or supporting or coaching other people. And so often in businesses, we promote people to positions of management based on role play about how good they are at the job.

So if you've got a, in a sales role, for instance, you've got a sales team and every single month, someone actually smashes their sales. They hit their targets, they do everything that you need. So they've built a great relationship with their clients. The sales manager leads. People internally applied for the new sales manager role.

The chances are the new sales manager would be the person who is the best at sales is going to be the person that's actually hitting their target. So it seems quite natural. But then if that person is not particularly good at, in terms of like management and being able to coach to support in power, you could create an unhealthy team where they're not getting that support, or they don't feel like their managers, the white person.

And there's like crazy stats where 49% of people leave their job because of their manager because of their boss. And that's like one of the number one reasons that people will look elsewhere. It's, it's one of those things that we didn't want to have as, as an issue of Ricardo, wants to make sure that that first of all, people felt that they could advance their careers without becoming managers.

Because again, another problem is that to, to get any way you have to become a manager. She does it again. Does it make sense? Because if you're really good at what you do, why can't that be good enough, but actually being really good when you do, it's like taking on more responsibility, become a more, more senior in that role, more experienced, more expertise, skillset without having to manage other people.

So we want you to separate in tiny the idea of people being good at their jobs, having to manage other people. We introduced two new roles into the business. So we had almost like a department structure which is the rollout, which is someone that is got that skillset. Got that experience. It's going to be required to help grow a department to help sort of push that forward.

So understanding that when recruitment is going to need, but again, it's bringing in new people into the team to help with a growing client list, or that might be almost kind of the brains behind that department, pushing it forward and then roll BB in complete, separate as well, which is a coach. So again, people that are good at motivating and supporting and empowering and helping other people, and the important bit that we have, the basis that anyone can choose their own coach.

Because again, someone that works well for you might not work particularly well for someone else. I'm sorry. So what about choosing your own coach? The person that you think would be really beneficial to you going forward? I mean over time that has kind of changed around and we've moved things to kind of address various issues that, that, that came up.

So the original concepts kind of tweaked a little bit and changed over time and obviously where we are now, today, it's more based around self-management. So we distributed responsibilities amongst the team. So what we realized was that the leads type role, the strategist type role, we're still handling a lot of things such as mediation that came up with a department or probations, or, or there was an issue that came up a lot to do with become non-performance and all that type of stuff.

And so we did an exercise last year, which was everyone in, in every team. Going through a list of responsibilities and working out who the best person is at doing that responsibility. So you've still got the strategy type person who's going to grow that department, but then someone else completely could be the one that deals with mediation.

Someone else could be the person that feels like onboarding someone else could be the person that there was probation. Someone else could be the person that deals with like training and extra support in that team. And then each person's got their own coach as well. So it separates and their responsibility is creating these teams that are focused around doing what our boss says, or just following your manager and what they're doing, but creating these sort of capsule teams that work together essentially self-managed can help to kind of drive through change and come up with ideas and a more self-sufficient route, which working for one person.

And so that's kind of why we did it and that's where we got to. And it's just, it's just made that. People have just been able to take on more responsibility. I keep saying the word responsibility because it's one of the ones I think it's, again like freedom and trust responsibility is such a big thing again, to grow adults and we all want to have more responsibility.

So that's what most say in that free to just dictate our job. And we've got to a point now where people can dictate their own career. So we have career matrix is in place whereby this is the skills and experience. You need to go from a genius to midway consistent skills and experience. You need starter for a midwife to a senior or bail out and said, Taiz, having salary brackets assigned to them as well.

And people can just manage their own career matrix. There's no one else or it's 10 of what they should be doing or what they shouldn't be doing. But it's kind of saying that you are now responsible and accountable for managing your own career. If you want to advance. Through this and, and progress your career.

This is how you do it. Or you've got that template. It's up to you. You haven't got manager to use or how to do it and making sure you do it. We're moving things like handled appraisals as well. And at the same time, because the appraisals are one of those things that people often dread and fair and not sure what to expect from them.

And instead introduce like sort of coaching sessions that happen on a quarterly basis talking about what positive things like aspirations and success and what you want to do next and where you want to go rather than what haven't you done, what went wrong, or what failed or what needs to do to improve things that a typical management appraisal meeting my, my run I don't know, I'm stereotyping cause that's not the way that absolutely everything runs.

But I think when you have a, a management structure in place, the chances of that, it's always going to be a few backaches that kind of deep, deep sort of demoralized people would demotivate people. And that's something that will strip away.

Lech: [00:32:36] And what has been the impact on the organization in the sense of performance and the growth of the organization? Kind of because ultimately majority of organizations are, we measure success in our organizations by growth, by number of sales, that kind of is the easiest way to measure growth, but we know that that's not the only, that's one of, one of the factors, one of the, one of the indicators that we can use, what has been the impact on Reddico in terms of all these changes, how has that impacted the growth and the organization and how it is today?

Luke Kyte: [00:33:12] Yeah. So there's quite a few metrics, really kit and point. So it's a, first of all, we, in terms of financial side of things, because that's what a lot of people be interested in is the financial side. And revenue's gone up by 60% over the last two years and profits gone up over 40% over the last two years as well.

We also do the client NPS So similar to the team one we do the client one on a quarterly basis. I think when we started this journey, we were around sort of the 56, which comes as an excellent on the NPS scoreboard, which again, we've always had a, sort of a regurgitation of the clients where he's done amazing work, but since it's rolled out, that's jumped up to a world class score which again, just shows that the more.

Accountability, more responsibility, more empowerment you give the team, the happier the clients. So it's kind of the happier the team the happier the clients are kind of saying, I suppose, that goes hand in hand, that's jumped up as well. We also last year won the best small acceleration in Europe of old European searchable.

So again, Testament to like the work that people are producing in a structure that's very non-traditional and very kind of radical and different in its approach. And then, and then obviously we've got the team happiness funds, which are backed up by the great place to work worlds and our internal NPS also being at a world-class level for the last eight quarters, we shows that this is the structure that people want.

This is the way that people want to work. And when they've got that freedom, they've got that trust and that responsibility to really drive change.

Lech: [00:34:38] Obviously to be in this place, you have to have the right people on your teams to be able to do that. How has your recruitment process evolved or changed to, to get the people that you need, who will fit into the not having managers being a, basically a self-organizing company has that changed drastically what's and if so how, what, what exactly did change?

Luke Kyte: [00:35:02] Yes, sir. Plenty enough. It's one of those things that we haven't quite a hundred percent managed yet, but we're getting closer and closer to it because I spent a lot out there recently, which is sort of say in how you shouldn't hire for fit and cultural fit and things like that. And I don't know if I agree or disagree.

Like it's one of those things. I feel like you need to find someone that. Allowing us to the company, its values and needs to, especially in the way that we work. It's not necessarily about having someone that looks like us at the same thing as us, but someone that can manage themselves can be accounts, but it won't still say work at night, because as you say, there are people that actually might not want to have that I might want a, more of a structure to what they're doing and have a more, very clear linear pathway to becoming a manager or moving through the ranks where they might look like.

So the biggest change for us is I suppose, first of all, just having the values of the business in mind throughout the process and sort of thinking is this person sort of lining up to those values, but also introducing a cultural stage to the process as well. So once we got the competency assignment or something tipped, and we know that this person can do the job and to whatever level it is, they're being hired for whether it's a junior midwife or a senior, whether that might be, they didn't go through like a cultural interview process.

And that's changed again over time in sense of how we do that. What we've settled on recently is something where it's almost like, like a mixture between a, a scare them away type environment, but also trying to see how open and honest and reflective they can be as well, because we've also got a, who's got a coach where lessons learned and mistakes aren't frowned upon.

So people openly talk about what happened and what made that for me can reflect and be really honest with themselves and the rest of the team as well. And so it's kind of broken up into a number of stages. So the culture into the first part is I'd like a series of videos, which explain how it works.

And it's like, this is. The business, this is how self measure works. We have things like the advice process, where anyone can make a decision that Simone what their responsibilities and their role there to get approval. They just have to ask the provider how that works and things like this is how the manager, this is how that, that runs for this is what the, I suppose this is what is expected of you, because we were conscious that it sounds like a utopian environment where people can just sort of come and have holiday and work whenever they want and just get all these lovely rewards and treats.

And it's all like sunshine and rainbows and that kind of stuff. So we feel like we have to be quite, not brutal, but clear. That these are the expectations that are going to come with this role and that you are going to be responsible for managing yourself and your time and your work and your clients, maybe.

So we tended not to do no. One's going to look over your shoulder. Like you are, you're not left on your own because we've got support that you can get support and lean on people and all that kind of stuff. But ultimately like you have to take on a fair chunk of responsibility yourself. So it's kind of a, I suppose, introducing credit card and if culture to you, but then also doing a different sort of looking into like personality type models, not to say wherever someone eats the backpacks, what we want, but ones where they kind of do talk about blind spots and different areas that they could work on going forward.

And again, open up a chance for reflection and self awareness. So then we can have in this interview, like a real open discussion. And for instance, if I'm talking to someone in the team, so talking to someone on the recruitment process I might be saying that. So when it comes to my personality, I'm more of a driver.

And I I like to get things done. I'm not good at sort of just, just ticking things off work employment. I like to have a plan and just execute it. I don't work particularly well with people that are sorts of questions and want to still projects all the time and want more information because I'm just irritated by that.

And that's, that's how I see things. And we encourage other people then to be really open and honest with us and say, no, this is, this is how I work. And this is what frustrates me, or this is how at work as well. I'm starting to find out how open and honest people can actually be on this interview and making sure that that they're kind of sort of sharing those values of kind of openness and that everybody's kind of embraced that the coach that we have as well as being able to work in a, in a self-managed environment.

So there's lots of different bits that we're sort of testing and trying to do that. And we've got a system in place where if it doesn't work out, we will help you. Find something that will work because the way we've been very clear that is absolutely fine. And if it's not right for you, that's fine.

And we will help you kind of find the next you know, your career where that might be a different company. And in the past we've done things like set people up with our in-house cruises and we have a CVS, right. And we've known that they've been going up to have job interviews and we've put them in touch with people that would not have been looking for sort of similar positions.

And we said, stapler, you we'll help you sort of a three month periods to, to find a new relevance and move on in a real amicable way. But we're hoping school should be free that because we know that was not. I didn't find where everyone can find over the time. And some people won't like it, they won't enjoy it, but we'd rather have those open, honest discussions about Robert than had, and not having someone just sort of saying, then don't join it and they'll do anything about it.

And so I suppose it comes in both ways that recruitment to make sure that people know what to expect, and we know what to expect from them. And we know that they're gonna fit those values and the way that we work, that the expectations are. But also saying that if it, if it doesn't work, then we're also going to help you as well.

I have a minute. It's going to kind of leave you out to drive again, to really support you through this.

Lech: [00:40:53] And in terms of the, the, the process and how you screen for all of that, the description you you gave is absolutely fascinating. How many stages have you got? So when somebody comes across a position at Reddico what did they need to do? What, what happens that, could you give us a high level overview of what stages are, how many stages there are and what the stages involve?

Luke Kyte: [00:41:17] Yeah, sure. So there's not actually that many stages. So the first bit is just a pre-screening type thing that you would have with our in house recruiter. And that would just be asking various questions about person making sure that they know what to expect and that they've got the skills and the competency for the role and all that kind of stuff.

Making sure that the values alignment, every, some questions around families. So trying to sort of dig a little bit under the surface to make sure this person's not just trying to get sort of a free ride to flexibility because sometimes people do ask sort of like the only question I'd ask is, so how flexible are you or how much are they?

Can I really take it? It's like, okay, like the warning signs are already kind of come on a little bit. Maybe this person's. Not quite every right for us. To say that people, I want to be clear as well, because Kevin said people can't take holiday. Since we introduced this holiday has gone up to like 40% or something must, that seems limited.

So it's like we absolutely have to pay people to take annual leave. So I just want to make sure that I'm getting your message across. And then once I post that pre-screen interview, it's a general first interview. Whoever is at the hiring person might be again, competency based, making sure that they got things in place that would make sense for that particular role.

So following that there might be like a technical task that we asked to go away. Yeah. And then produce something and present back. So a few people in that department to make sure that they can be wiped for that role. And then the fun side, just to folk Sage is that, that culture interview. And so beforehand, I got an email that I think the video is to watch.

So these links explain a bit more about the company, as well as like different exercises found some personality. So with values, alignment, law, I would use over and what they think so able to brush it away and what might be more challenging, the and then that's then a conversation they have with sort of three or four people in the team from different departments where everyone in that conversation just has a really good, honest conversation about it.

Just to kind of, I suppose I like a really good chance for the person that's joined in to find out what really hosts really like, rather than just the person that's hiring or people that might be hiring, but actually you ask some questions. I have, what is it really? How hard is it? And it's that opportunity to kind of say up.

It's going to be really hard, but there is a lot of challenges that come with the way that we work, but at the same time, it is going to be really rewarding. And this is why, and this is the benefits that come with that. And if you can manage that and sort of say that the perks that come with the job and just, just making sure that person really does align.

So it's kind of four stages, I suppose which will probably be slightly longer than the most businesses. But for us, we just have to make sure that we get the right people in, because I it's one of those things where he's got bad eggs can really kind of disrupt a culture and a business. And you just have to make sure that the people are going to really align and be on top of things.

Lech: [00:44:16] In part two, we continued talking about the recruitment process, especially the onboarding of new people and getting them used to self-management, setting their own targets and working in this type of environment. I also asked Luke about things that haven't gone exactly to plan and what they've learned from all of that as part of their journey to becoming a self-organizing company. Make sure to check it out.


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