David Hassell: Cultivating Growth through Communication and Collaboration

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Our guest David Hassell is the founder and CEO of 15five, a company that offers a tool to help managers celebrate wins, remove roadblocks and discover great ideas in just minutes each week. In our discussion we talk about the benefits of fostering communication and culture within an organization, and David shares with us how we can achieve trust and transparency to help cultivate growth in our own companies.

Communication is Key

The concept behind 15five is providing a framework for companies establish lightweight communication rhythm. The framework asks employees to spend 15 minutes each week on a reflective writing exercise, and asks managers to spend 5 minutes per employee each week reading these exercises. This simple concept works just as well for organizations with 3 team members as it does for companies with 2,000 or more employees.

What Makes a Successful Team

  • Having transparency and trust
  • An ability to address issues very quickly
  • Maintaining positive morale and energy
  • Making sure every person is in a role that suits them

Questions to Ask Your Team Members Each Week

  • Where are you succeeding and what are you proud of?
  • Where are your challenges?
  • What do you intend to accomplish going forward into the next week?
  • Looking back at the things you mentioned last week, what did you or did you not do?

Keys to a Highly Communicative Organization
15five is a great piece of the communication puzzle. It engenders a deeper, more trustworthy relationship between managers and their employees. The more trust we have, the less friction there is and the more that we can get done together. And when you can create increased trust within an organization, amazing things can happen.

In addition to manager-employee communications, it’s important to also have clear communication from company leaders with respect to the vision and goals of the organization.

In order to help put everyone in the organization on the same page, leaders need to communicate:

  • Where the company is headed
  • Where the company is at currently
  • What we need to do as a company
  • What are the capabilities we need to take on
  • How the marketplace is shifting

Best Questions to Cultivate Growth in an Organization

One of the best ways to cultivate growth within an organization is to ask questions that force people to reflect on things or areas that they otherwise may not focus on.

Example questions include:

    • When do you feel most productive at work?
    • How might we build a stronger culture?
    • Who do you want to get to know better in the company?

The Elements of Great Company Culture
Developing great company culture starts with caring about the people in your organization as human beings. Don’t view your employees as assets or resources - they are much more than that and are capable of great things if you start caring about their whole lives. If your people are living great lives outside of work, they’re going to bring their great lives into work and do great work.

Tips for Increasing Company Morale
People have a predisposition to focus on things that aren’t going well. Shift your company’s way of thinking by asking employees to reflect back on things they accomplished and things that they are proud of. Start meetings by discussing what went right, acknowledge individuals for their successes, and help people along when they’re struggling.

Top High Performance Business Tools and Technologies

Make sure to check out…


15five’s Twitter

David’s Twitter

David’s LinkedIn

Book - The Speed of Trust by Stephen R. Covey

Book - The Progress Principle by Teresa Amabile


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