Growing Great Companies with Good Communication

Amy Wen November 7, 2019

CommercialOpsTalkslim

An all-hands briefing connecting all our Pivot Bio employees together to learn about the plans for the 2020 commercial season. 



Pivot Bio thrives on collaboration and communication. When it comes to the fast-paced nature of the work that we do and the large geographical distribution of our employees, it’s important to have ways to connect with each and every one of our team members. 

Like any growing company, we definitely pack a lot into a day. Some days we need to get all hands on deck for sample processing or receive valuable data from our field teams. Recently, we’ve been experimenting with meeting rooms designed for tele-conferencing as we begin to understand what infrastructure to incorporate so that we can meet the needs of our diverse team. The tools and strategies we use to communicate keep us operational and flexible. 

But good communication goes beyond work-related necessities. We also use numerous tools to meet with, support, and get to know one another, whether it’s calendar invites to grab lunch and catch up, in-person retreats to discuss our achievements in a refreshing setting, or giving company-wide shout-outs to teammates who extend a helping hand. In other words, communication at Pivot Bio is more than talking about work -- it really informs how we work and makes our team successful.

Tools that help us communicate are important, but more than that, we practice great communication. We share our projects, progress, successes, and even failures because we recognize that transparency and openness are vital to achieving our goals. We also make it a priority to bring in outside resources, sharing scientific literature or attending academic conferences to drive dialogue on our best methods and practices so that we can brainstorm for future projects. Similarly, we solicit advice and feedback from each other and encourage cross-functional work because we recognize that our willingness to listen to the skilled people on our team makes our work better.

The impact of good communication can also be felt in our connection to customers. The agronomic team alone has made over 200 visits to customers this year. That means we’ve been there through one of the roughest years on record, building partnerships with our growers that will last beyond this harvest. Communication with the grower is the cornerstone of both our customer and technology development. Pivot Bio listens to farmers and builds what they need.

Other communication channels we’ve created show our culture and varied passions outside of science -- one for our precious pets, rock climbers, and musicians of our own Pivot Bio band! My favorite is the news and press release channel, which I enjoy because I like to learn about relevant scientific work from which we draw inspiration. When Dr. Frances Arnold became the fifth female Nobel Laureate, she popped up in the company slack. Dr. Arnold also using data-backed science to make products for the sustainability of our planet. To see this shared with everyone at Pivot Bio is a visible reminder that the people I work with support strong female scientists and take our work seriously.

As a start-up, we are the sum of all our parts; we rely on each other to complete the work we need to get done, and communication is key when it comes to accomplishing our tasks. And as I begin to wrap up my internship here, I’m in awe at how great communication tools and strategies can help build an inviting and high-functioning community. Here at Pivot Bio, our quirky, dynamic, and science-driven culture can be seen in how we create dialogue, cultivate openness and knowledge, and support one another’s professional growth through our communication devices and spaces.