Transparency and the role of 'ask me anything'

Every Thursday, in our company-wide catch-up, anyone can anonymously ask a question to the Heads-of. It's a great way to keep things transparent.
By Team member, 08/02/2019
3 minutes read

Every Thursday, the whole company gathers round for the weekly "CEO update". 📈 Freddy, our fearless leader, will give us updates on what has happened in the week, progress in each department, and what's coming up.

Then we have an 'ask me anything' (AMA) session, where the whole company are given the chance to ask the Heads of departments any question.

Questions are welcome through typeform which is sent around before hand (anonymously, if you wish). Or they can be asked there and then based on something that's come up.

The importance of AMAs

Transparency is really important to us here at Cuvva. So it's crucial that any member of the team has the opportunity to ask the Heads a question and get an honest answer.

But it's also about giving the team the chance to discuss issues of importance in an open setting. By accepting very direct and specific criticism or questions in an open forum, the senior leadership is held accountable.

It was a tradition that started back when the Cuvva team was only a handful. They could all fit in one room, which as you can imagine, made it much easier to stay in the loop. But now with a much bigger team, spread over two floors at Cuvva HQ, it's become even more important.

As we talked about recently, some of the team work remotely. To make sure anyone who can't be there still has the chance to get involved, we live stream the meetings. 📹

The AMA's are just one way we make sure the culture remains as open and transparent as it was back in 2015 when you could count the team on one hand.

Why AMAs

Questions can be as simple as asking for an update on a piece of work. But one of the really great things about Cuvva is that you can take an issue to the Heads, and they will give it genuine consideration.

Although there are other ways to raise them (they have regular one-to-ones with the whole company, or you could just grab them for a chat in the office), the main way to do so is through the AMAs. 📝

Sometimes you will get an honest explanation for why things are the way they are. But other times it means admitting they don't have all the answers, and are willing to take feedback from the team onboard.

The results

Many great discussions have come from a submission to the weekly AMAs. We have talked about diversity, the office environment, and the finer points of offering short-term car insurance. Recently, an AMA about working from home has lead to a company-wide trial.

Previously, working from home wasn't something we did much of. We have a wonderful office space that is set-up to encourage collaboration and sharing of ideas. It also has all the equipment we need to do our jobs well.

If one of the team had a genuine reason to, they would work from home. But otherwise, we liked to have everyone in one place for maximum collaborative potential. 🛠

But the AMAs gave us a platform to discuss the potential benefits of a day out of the office every other week, free from distractions to get stuff done! 💥

The senior team took the feedback on board, and have decided to give it a go to see if it works for us. We're currently trying it out - watch this space!

The benefit

Giving the wider team the opportunity to ask the Heads anything not only demonstrates our commitment to an open culture. It also demonstrates respect for the team by allowing them a way to voice their thoughts or feelings. 💭

It allows us a time and place to chat about important issues in the open, with the whole team involved. Sometimes someone will raise a question you hadn't even thought of; sharing answers in the open means we're all on the same page.

And as we are growing as a company, continuing to work in this way means our culture is growing with us. 👍

Team member