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Fostering feedback culture, with Small Improvements Founder & CEO

Feedback culture doesn’t *just* happen. In startups feedback is rarely given focus from day one. So how can an established team nurture processes and attitudes towards feedback that make the difference between a desirable company and one you shouldn’t touch with a bargepole?

“[A one-on-one is] where the employee can tell the manager freely what’s on their mind, so that the manager can start fixing things – that’s what the manager is paid for.”

Feedback, and the culture surrounding it, is one of the biggest contributors to a company’s desirability, from a recruiting standpoint. But after some quick research, it occurred to me that the act of developing good feedback processes is almost always under-invested in, especially with early stage startups.

Per Fragemann (@perfragemann) has made it his mission to improve feedback and feedback culture in business, with a business he started called Small Improvements.

Small Improvements, Headquartered in Berlin, grew from a passion project during Per’s former employment at Engineering giant Atlassian in Australia. Today they have over 25 employees and have bootstrapped their way to profitability in the 6 years since creation.

Per and his Berlin-based team work out of a quirky apartment-style office in a majestic, old building in the heart of the city.

In our discussion, Per and I talked about:

  • How he turned a side project into a full-scale business with paying customers, almost by accident
  • How anyone can create a foundation for good feedback in their business
  • The core components of good, productive feedback
  • What a one-on-one session means at Small Improvements, and why so many people get this wrong

Building a culture of feedback is *hard*, and Per does a great job of breaking it down in an actionable way. So let’s dive into the episode.

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