Hiring software and services provider - Canada - 10 employees – For profit
Fitzii is a Ian Martin Group company (hiring support)
- J. Information and communication
Fitzii is organized in three parallel teams along functional lines – product & development, sales & marketing, and hiring success. Each has a senior person who plays a strategy and planning role but has no authority over other team members (Fitzii uses the advice process and other peer-based processes for decision making).
Fitzii maintains a Venn diagram to show the relationship between its three teams. Each team is responsible for its own plans; every combination of two teams has shared plans where their work overlaps; and finally, certain topics rest in the center of the Venn where any changes require input from all three teams. “Center of the Venn” topics include Fitzii’s evolutionary purpose, strategy and thematic goals, product and service changes that could significantly affect customers, and people and culture practices such as self-management.
In addition to as-needed meetings, Fitzii uses regular meeting practices.
Monthly whole team meetings – all regular Fitzii coworkers attend a monthly meeting that alternates between its two offices. For a team who work from two locations and often telework, this ensures one predictable occasion to meet together face-to-face. The agenda regularly includes wholeness activities such as a getting-to-know one coworker activity, as well as financial review to increase the financial awareness of every team member and promote ownership thinking. Other topics are added, to a shared document (no one person controls the agenda), by anyone who wants the whole team’s input on any topic.
One-on-one meetings – traditional manager-employee one-on-one meetings have been replaced with rotating one-on-one meetings between random pairings of individuals. These meetings, called “Teal Dates”, serve to strengthen bonds, increase understanding of other roles, and provide a predictable first point of contact for the advice process. Each Teal Date pairing lasts three months.
Generally, sound meeting practices and facilitation are highly valued, ex. De Bono techniques, task-based learning techniques, and the company’s own Doozy of a Question (DOAQ) meeting style are examples.
At Fitzii, weekly updates take place in an enterprise social network, called Yammer, which is key for sharing information and receiving advice. Every core team member writes a weekly update of her/his work activities, advice processes, and concerns.
Fitzii’s weekly updates are essential to its communication. Weekly updates ensure every team member has regular access to a wide variety of information about the business – everything from financial performance to customer concerns and the personal engagement of the individual – resulting in increased alignment and engagement of Fitzii team members. Fitzii’s ownership and advisory board are also members of the Yammer group, and they occasionally add comments of encouragement or raise difficult questions within the weekly updates or at advisory board meetings.
Fitzii, a recruitment company, follows rigorous processes to evaluate new hires’ potential for success – including psychometric testing and in-depth panel interviews. Hiring decisions rest with the team doing the hiring, with representatives of every other team involved in panel interviews. Focus is on ensuring the new hire will experience meaningful work and be supported by the Fitzii team.
When hiring core team members, three essential types of fit are evaluated: • Why – alignment with Fitzii’s evolutionary purpose is evaluated in conversation during preliminary and panel interviews; there is a strong desire to find roles for people with clear purpose alignment • How – an individual’s behavioural traits, evaluated by psychometric testing within the Fitzii software • What – knowledge, skills, abilities related to the main role(s) the new hire will play, evaluated by the relevant functional team
These may or may not be equally important in every hire. For example, hiring a programmer requires a high level of knowledge, skill, and ability (what) whereas hiring a senior person who will set strategy requires a high level of purpose alignment (why).
In considering working hours and location, Fitzii “manages a polarity” between freedom and responsibility. Coworkers can work anywhere there is internet connection (freedom). Flexibility is greatly enjoyed by individuals who are productive working from home or have occasional needs, ex. one coworker spent a week working in Miami in order to visit a sick relative. In practice, coworkers work primarily from two offices – one in Oakville, Ontario and the other in Toronto, Ontario. In an effort to spend time together in person – the CEO is often heard saying “you can’t build community unless you waste time together” – coworkers make every effort to work from Oakville on Tuesdays and from Toronto on Thursdays (responsibility). Monthly in-person team meetings rotate between the two locations; an annual in-person team retreat provides quality structured and unstructured interaction.
Fitzii has no set job descriptions; coworkers perform one or more roles based on their interests, talents, and the needs of the organization.
Coworkers have one core role. Based on that core role, they are members of one of three functional teams – product & development, sales & marketing, and hiring success. Coworkers also have other roles not related to their core role. For convenience, simple lists of these roles exist in the company social network. They are as simple as “Hiring practice - Luz” so that it’s easy to identify the person currently playing a role.
Otherwise, roles are not described per se; but if the goal of a traditional job description is to make clear what each person should be doing, the equivalent source of guidance is each team’s goals and plans document, which makes clear the current priorities of that team. In that sense, a coworker’s job description is to make progress on Fitzii’s purpose, specifically by achieving the goals and plans her functional team has committed to.
Regarding job titles, it is common practice to use one’s team name as a title. For example – introducing oneself as “Carla from hiring success” or signing an email: Carla, Hiring Success, Fitzii. At the same time, in situations when it is more practical to use a conventional title, each person has freedom to do so. For example, it might be practical for a member of the sales & marketing team to identify himself as Fitzii’s marketing manager when addressing marketing services vendors. There is either enough peer pressure or good sense to avoid fancier ego-driven titles!
At Fitzii, feedback of all kinds is frequently sought and given.
Annually, every Fitzii coworker completes a self-assessment, answering these two questions (in an online performance management tool):
- Assess your past year in terms of your accomplishments, important learning, and even mistakes that led to growth. Then tell us what areas of your performance you'd particularly like to get feedback about.
Self-assessments are then shared with every other member of the Fitzii team, who review the content before responding with answers to these two questions:
What did NAME do well? Be sure to include the one thing you most value about working with NAME.
Considering how you have been affected by NAME, and what areas she's interested in hearing about, what is the feedback you would like to give that could best help her grow or improve?
Peers are encouraged to write in “I” language and to share how they have been inspired, touch, hurt, etc. by the other person’s contributions. Feedback is not presented as objective truth. No numerical ratings or rankings are used.
Each coworker then receives and reviews the feedback and prepares to attend a whole-team discussion in which every person shares new insights from the feedback process, as well as actions he or she wishes to take in response.
The meeting agenda is created in “real time” at the beginning of every meeting. This reduces bureaucracy and any politicking for topics that may not interest the whole group, or have urgency. Each team head and board member shares four items: what s/he is a) focused on, b) excited about, c) concerned about, and d) tasks that need immediate attention. Urgent topics, and those of broad interest, are discussed, and others deferred. Meeting notes are accessible to all Fitzii team members.
Fitzii is organized in three parallel teams along functional lines – product & development, sales & marketing, and hiring success. Every Fitzii employee is a member of one of these teams, depending on his or her core role.
In addition, Fitzii team members volunteer to steward various staff roles such as finances, purchasing, and human resources. The individual steward accumulates expertise and moves decisions, actions, and projects forward. These allocations are based on individual interest and the team’s overall needs.
A practical example: when Fitzii developed a peer-based 360-degree feedback process, various team members were interested in contributing. Initially, development of the new feedback process lagged as no one was clearly responsible for moving it forward. When the team noticed this, one coworker from the product & development team took the role of steward of the feedback process. He collected advice and opinions from other interested coworkers, proposed a process based on their advice, and took over practical implementation of the new practice. In that sense, the role is less about authority over a particular staff function and more about serving the team’s practical needs.
Additionally, the team has regular access to subject matter experts from its parent company, the Ian Martin Group, as well as external experts, such as legal counsel.