Goodiebox | On Building Winning Growth Teams9 min read

Since joining Goodiebox, Anders Birk has made a habit of ironing out the kinks of the company’s growth from 1 country to 5 across Europe.

 

As Paul Graham puts it in his article about what differentiates startups from traditional businesses, “A startup is a company designed to grow fast.”

Goodiebox is a perfect fit for this description. Since joining Goodiebox as a Director of Growth, Anders Birk has made a habit out of ironing out the kinks of the company’s growth from 1 country to 5 across Europe.

To find out how Goodiebox managed to achieve company growth while also nurturing their employees’ happiness, you can listen to our full conversation above or read Anders’s key learnings below.

From 1 to 5 countries across Europe 

As Paul Graham puts it in his article about what differentiates startups from traditional businesses, “A startup is a company designed to grow fast.”

Goodiebox is a perfect fit for this description. Since joining Goodiebox as a Director of Growth, Anders Birk has made a habit out of ironing out the kinks of the company’s growth from 1 country to 5 across Europe.

To find out how Goodiebox managed to achieve company growth while also nurturing their employees’ happiness, you can listen to our full conversation above or read Anders’s key learnings below.

  

Stef: Anders, thank you for joining us today. Let’s kick it off by telling us a little bit about Goodiebox’s growth journey that you have experienced in the past year up until the present.

Anders: One year ago, Goodiebox had just kickstarted its growth adventure. We have been selling happiness (as we like to say) for seven years to women all over Denmark and we wanted to expand that to Europe.

We started out as two people working with growth, 30 people in the company in total, and 18.000 subscribers in the Danish market. Fast forward to two years later, we now have 85k subscribers, 5 markets, 14 people working with growth, two countries, two offices, five teams, plus the support team which has just been expanded to 100 people in total.

At the beginning, the most important things for us were the growth aspects. We have since expanded both our content team and our creative team because we realised that in order to achieve growth at the expected pace, we needed to make sure the entire organisation has the same mindset.

People and consistency = the foundation for Goodiebox today

 

Stef: What is the goal of the company? Where do you want to take it next?

Anders: We’re now at a phase where we tripled last year’s numbers. We will likely triple them again this year and we  plan to repeat this process next year. Our main focus is to continue our growth strategy by opening up the Goodiebox concept to new markets. We have grown from 1 to 5 markets in a year and have plans to open four more markets in 2019 so that will result in up to 8 markets in a year and a half.

Stef: What do you think has contributed most to the growth of the company?

Anders: Good question! The answer is consistency between the concept, the overall team and the people behind the work. It’s the reason why we have a low churn of employees. Everyone knows what’s required and where we’re going.

This aligns pretty clearly with what we want to achieve and I think those things are more important than whether a TV ad worked or if the market we open into is ready for Goodiebox. Of course, those things show us what is performing well, but in the end, all the hard work behind that is the result of team effort and our constant quest to adapt and learn about how we can scale more efficiently and faster than ever before. 

Stef: Do you think your low turnover rate is a result of freedom and investment in lifelong learning?

Anders: Yes, there is a very big focus on the team and people. That’s actually our old tagline: Unbox happiness. Internally, we still stick to the concept of unboxing inner happiness. We have bi-weekly employee satisfaction surveys and we’re trying to keep ourselves away from not being able to maintain employee satisfaction while growing the company.

 

The right people with the right skills

Stef: Do you manage to find people with the right kind of skills or is that a challenge?

Anders: To keep Goodiebox at its growth pace, we need to find the right people to fuel that opportunity. The skills needed now are not the same as three months ago and it sounds crazy, but we are 40 more people now than we were 3 months ago.

If you take the growth team, for example, we are currently evaluating whether the current structure and process that we’ve built up is still the right thing. Our organisational structure has changed three or four times in the past year and a half of working together. But we are learning and adapting from it, and this is probably the most important part, as well as knowing what employee profiles we need. We know we need more skilled people now than we believe we did nine months ago.

 

Stef: Define skilled.

Anders: Skilled in the sense that they need to have more experience in driving growth projects. They can be fresh out of school but they need to have proven experience so they hit the ground running. Having hired more senior resources that are more specialised with working with growth has helped us with experiencing how fast we can launch in new markets and improve more parts than in just one focused area. 

 

The must haves for managing team alignment

Stef: Having worked together with the Dutch and the Belgian team, I see that they drive growth in their daily processes. How do you maintain that within the current teams?

Anders: The teams focus a lot on that. Whether it’s weekly visits to our Danish offices or the other way around, there is open communication through our messaging platforms and ongoing catch up meetings.

Stef: Do you use any tools to keep track of your experiments, such as the win & fail board?

Anders: We don’t have a win and fail board, but we’re not afraid of sharing our failures. That’s definitely one thing we’re not turning against. Failure is a prerequisite for winning in the end and is now an integrated part of our culture, which makes it easier for people to not be be afraid of it.

Stef: In terms of teams working together with the GROWS process, how do you facilitate knowledge sharing?

Anders: That’s actually one of the parts we are still working on. In the beginning, every person within the team was in charge of doing their part and had to go through this process by themselves more or less. Now that we are a bigger team we need to tap into different teams, but we are also considering to set up some squats which follows more your way of thinking or education. We are constantly reconsidering what is the best set up for us.

Coming from 25 to 100 people in 10 months there is no one-size-fits-all process. We’re not only experimenting on the channels but also on what are the best set-ups for now.

For example, we have one dedicated designer for each growth team. We have tested that for the last three weeks. Up until then, the designer was only supportive, now they are part of the growth team. Does that bring more value and speed up the experimentation process? Or do they need more skills? If they do, can we jump in to support them with acquiring those skills or do we need to restructure again because it proved to be inefficient? In cases like this experimentation is paramount to identifying what set up is the best for us.

The infinite value of having a growth mindset

Stef: When you hire someone new in the team what is the skill they should bring onboard?

Anders: The prerequisite before having the skills is the growth mindset and of course the cultural fit with the given organisation. Having a self-driven mindset will get you in front of the row and I think that is more important than having a Facebook specialist for example because that will become obsolete one day.

You should be chasing a mindset for ongoing learning because you don’t even know what your direction will be next. You don’t know if conversion rate optimisation is your thing. Or if you’re going to need it in three years. Instead of focusing on that specific skill, go for at mindset that can put you in the position and the right direction for where you want to go next.

Stef: Thank you for joining us on our talk, Anders. And kudos for all the great work at Goodiebox. So many companies and businesses out there want to prioritise their employees and scale their business in the right way, and it sounds like your team is onto something. Thank you for joining us, and thank you for sharing with us. It’s been great having you here.

Anders: Thanks for having me.

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