I landed at SocialCops in a fairly nontraditional way. I found the company by Googling “data-driven tech startup Delhi” — true story! — and immediately knew I wanted to be a part of the organization. I considered other roles within the company, but with the patience and counsel of the Talent Team and co-founders, I decided to come on board as in the “Founders’ Staff” role.
SocialCops was looking for someone who would tackle some of the problems they were seeing — problems that, if not addressed, could majorly snowball as we grew in size.
What does that mean, you ask? SocialCops was looking for someone who would work closely with the co-founders, take on a variety of projects related to our growth and strategy, and tackle some of the problems they were seeing across the company — problems that, if not addressed, could majorly snowball as we grew in size. So I signed on the dotted line!
My first challenge: Knowledge Management
My first challenge as Founders’ Staff was to address our knowledge management (KM). With numerous teams and platforms for communication and documentation, no two teams were capturing or storing their knowledge in the same way. Quip, Slack, and Google Drive are amazing resources, but they can quickly become barriers to sharing knowledge if there is no shared system or guidance. Folders were created on the fly, duplicates were stored across multiple teams, version control was nonexistent… Suddenly these tools that were supposed to help us manage our work had become the biggest challenge to doing so.
One of my earliest learnings from my work as Founders’ Staff was when I did my first demo. Within a team member’s first week, they present their “profile” — a 5 minute presentation with fun facts, what brought them to SocialCops, their hobbies, etc. But since my initial profile, I’d spent the following few months seated in the audience.
It was as if I’d gained the trust of the team simply by getting up and talking about the work I was doing; I felt I had solidified my place at SocialCops.
After demoing the shiny new KM plan I’d constructed, I felt immediately more engrained in the company. Suddenly members from all teams were coming to me with requests for support on various knowledge and people-related ideas. It was as if I’d gained the trust of the team simply by getting up and talking about the work I was doing; I felt I had solidified my place at SocialCops.
Friday Demos are when we stop executing and gather to catch up on our wins, learn from our fails, and get feedback from the team. Read more here.
Somewhat ironically, it helped me realize that no amount of documentation or beautifully crafted implementation plan can replace person-to-person communication — especially in front of the entire company!
I am by no means saying that I solved the KM problem for SocialCops. In fact I’m sure that six months from now, there will be another review of our documentation that will call for a revamp of the guidance and processes I helped to start. Unfortunately this is a forever problem for many companies, but my hope is that the foundation I created will mitigate the need to start from scratch next time!
What I love about the Founders’ Staff role
Little did I know that I was receiving a look into the entire company that I doubt many people here have had. Tedious? Yes. But also incredibly insightful.
One of the best parts of this role has been the bird’s eye view that I’ve gotten from addressing KM. It’s amazing what you can learn from reviewing hundreds of (virtual) file folders. From proposals to potential clients, to internal product meeting minutes, to sales pitches, and HR policies, little did I know that I was receiving a look into the entire company that I doubt many people here have had. Tedious? Yes. But also incredibly insightful.
I’ve also had the privilege to work across many teams. I’ve helped the Talent Team source and recruit candidates and revamp our onboarding; I’ve worked with Marketing to handle email outbound campaigns and manage our conference strategy; I’ve supported Finance & Operations on logistics and finding ways to cut costs. I’ve helped plan company celebrations, made decisions around feedback systems based on internal data from our team, and worked to support all the teams in their efforts to communicate more effectively. Within six months, I focused on my favorite niche — supporting all people operations across the company. (P.S. I wrote a whole blog about my work in People Operations!)
No two days as Founders’ Staff are the same. I see this role and myself at SocialCops as someone tasked with supporting the entire team, and helping to ensure that what people love about this organization stays strong. I get to question “the way things have always been” with new ideas, and I get to support people doing the same within their teams. What’s better than having responsibility for helping a company and its people grow? There is so much that I — and anyone — can learn at SocialCops, and this role has given me the freedom to do just that.