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#362 Parabol Turns Eight

Friday Ship #362 | August 25th, 2023

Photo of a candle in the shape of the number 8

This week Parabol turned eight! Instead of bringing cake to the break room, given we are fully remote and our break room is a Slack channel, we came together over Zoom to bake our own treats. It was a great reminder of the value of mixing in some fun into the company culture.

Screenshot of the Parabol team on Zoom

I am really proud of the culture here, it is one of the reasons I joined Parabol in the first place. I have a unique perspective on this area given my role in operations. My HR hat wants people to feel valued, appreciated and secure in their role here. My Finance hat knows turnover is a big expense, both in time and money. Plus, personally, I’m here to build a company that shows you can be highly successful and still have a healthy, thriving work environment.

Introducing the Culture Squad

It is one of the reasons we decided to create a Culture Squad, so we don’t lose sight of the importance culture has on building a successful, sustainable business. This feels even more important given our remote work environment where everything needs to be more intentional than an in-office workspace.

This squad is made up of members across the different circles at Parabol and we kicked things off by holding a Company-wide Retro to learn what makes a member feel valued/appreciated and how members would describe Parabol’s culture today. We also sent out a survey to get a pulse on psychological safety using the questions from our own blog post on this important topic.

One thing to note, we discarded the results of the following question:

“Quieter” circle members are directly asked for their opinions and contributions?

We realized this question was phrased for an in-person or live meeting environment and not our more asynchronous environment. It would have been more valuable to confirm if there were opportunities for quieter members to share and participate vs “directly asked”.

The squad is now digging into themes from the initial research as well as opening up one more survey asking about any events that may have had a negative impact on psychological safety and how we can learn from them.

Parabol’s culture isn’t perfect, but we remain focused on finding that balance between valuing the work that needs to get done and valuing the people doing the work. From easy fun wins like a baking party, to deeper work around ensuring psychological safety for all members, culture shouldn’t be an afterthought if you care about your company’s sustainability. I feel fortunate to work at a company that shares this view and I look forward to celebrating more Parabol “birthdays”!


Parabol core metrics for August 25, 2023

Even with our anticipated summer slump, the dip in weekly new signups is concerning and the team is digging into this.

This week we…

shipped v6.117.0 which included some exciting new features:

  • Google Calendar Invite
  • Loom embed extension

had a few of our members get together IRL while attending the Fed Supernova show in Texas.

…worked on pulling GitHub issues into Standups. Check out this demo from James:

Next week we’ll

…take a “slack week” to work on bugs, passion projects, and other projects outside of our usual rhythm

Kendra Dixon

Kendra Dixon

Kendra leads operations at Parabol with over 15 years of experience building and managing teams in remote work environments. She came to Parabol from Techstars where she managed the first remote accelerator supporting startups focused on the future of work. Kendra lives and works near San Diego, CA.

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