AB Tasty was born out of the idea that experimentation and personalization should be fast—and simple. Success isn’t spontaneous, it’s built on continuous optimization: the process of trying, failing, refining, and trying again at a faster rate than your competitors. This mindset drove the creation of AB Tasty and is at the heart of what we do. So why wouldn’t we practice internally what we deliver for our clients?
Take a look at some of the ways we drive optimization from within.
How to fuel innovation
We wanted to find a way to encourage regular collaboration and innovation and we love friendly competition. From this thought, our quarterly hackathon dubbed “Feature Factory” was born. Up to four teams are created, each comprised of around seven employees from totally different departments (and even countries). The teams gather at the Paris HQ for one week to develop their idea and prepare for a company-wide pitch where a global company vote determines the winner. The goal changes for each feature factory session, but in any session, the winner’s ideas will be developed in full and become available to our real-life clients. Our people love it, and it gives everyone from different departments a chance to exercise creativity. As one feature factory contestant put it, “I found this exercise really intense and loved the collective brainstorming process. This was a great experience since it pushed me to work with people that I don’t get to see every day, and especially to reconfirm my confidence in the abilities and enthusiasm of my teammates”.
In addition to our feature factory project, we also started a competition (I told you we love competitions) called “Top Chef Tech” in which the tech team works on a 6-week sprint in order to push out new innovations fast. Weeks 1-4 are the “cooking phase”, at the end of week 4 is the “taste test”, and weeks 5 and 6 are the “plating phases”’ – in which the “chefs” put the final touches on their project. At the end of the 6th week is the judging phase, in which the project gets the green light to be “Added to our menu”.
Knowing your global team
We’re in the business of personalization and we wanted to instill that within the workday amongst teammates. At the same time we have been growing rapidly, and to grow, we need to fail and learn. It’s natural to need to trust your team, especially while being open to failure and sharing those failures. As we’ve grown to have teams in 10 offices across 6 countries, we needed to figure out how to keep communication open and allowing trust to grow organically.
It sounds like a basic concept, but even small things can have a major impact. We choose to keep it simple and consistent. Every week starts with a “Big Up” where the entire company gathers via video and a member of each team shares key news and wins. On a monthly basis, each office hosts happy hours or team building activities. And annually, the entire company gathers for a 2-day retreat at a different location in Europe. Aside from the annual global retreat, each employee is encouraged to visit an international office of their choice.
Travel and after-hours activities are great but aren’t realistic on a daily basis. To encourage continuous communication and daily interactions, we have a program called Briq. It’s a bank of virtual tokens given daily that every person is able to gift to anyone in the company. They’re redeemable for a variety of items, ranging from an office plant, a happy hour for your team, a charity donation, or an international trip! Each gifted briq is tied to one of our core values, reinforcing everyone to think about how their actions tie back to our values. This system fosters daily interactions amongst the teams internationally.
There is no right or wrong when cultivating your company culture. Test, fail, learn, and have some fun along the way.