Team Building: Assess, Audit (A), Build (B)

The foundation for successful team building is all about people. However, people are more effective when they use data to build culture. Now more than ever, data literacy is driving businesses forward through positive change management and transformation. During my time at Mashable, we used data to transform our business culture for the better. From this experience, I will share the “ABCs” of building data culture – starting with “assess and audit” (A).

When I started the team building process at Mashable, I didn’t know where to start. So, I started with a survey of the newsroom to assess which tools they were using and how they were being used. Through this exercise, we learned that the newsroom though we were trying to tell them how to do their jobs. We tend to think that we’re always helping. In reality, we have blinders on that affect our ability to understand what’s going on.

After collecting the initial data set, we brought in data scientists to audit the attitudes and behaviors of our team. In addition, we also examined how the team was using data. Most importantly, this process uncovered a lack of strategic alignment on how to conduct daily tasks. For example, people would randomly choose content to post on social – rather than making data-driven decisions.

Once you have data, the next step is to “build” (B) out your roadmap for team building. First, you need to look inward and use your data to set the foundation for your team. Just like building a product, you need to figure out the problems you’re going to solve. From there, it’s important to choose the biggest priorities that will make the biggest impact. In other words, try not to bite off more than you can chew.

This is the time to listen very carefully to every member of your team. In the end, everyone should be on the same page and tuned in to the build process.

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About the speaker
Prerna Singh CoEdition, VP of Product Management Member

A high-velocity self-starter with a demonstrated ability to set aggressive goals and lead teams to achieve them. Experienced in combining strategic insights and human-centered design principles to deliver high client and product value. Driven strategy and execution at various phases of the product lifecycle, from conceptualization and development to product launch, while managing engineering, design, and business teams.

About the host
Andrea Chesleigh Boxed, VP of Product and Engineering

Andrea is the VP of Product and Engineering at One Kings Lane, a digital-first resource for making your home an expression of your personal style. She has spent over fifteen years in Product and Tech, and has led teams at startups and Fortune 500 companies, including Rent the Runway, Zappos, Time Warner, and Verizon. Andrea is passionate about solving hard (seemingly impossible) challenges, developing simple yet delightful products, building teams of entrepreneurial critical thinkers, and creating strategic outcomes with impact. She is a hands-on leader with a player/coach style, diving into the details with her team to partner, advise, and guide them to success.

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