Santiago, Chile, October 2016
Reinventing the communication between schools and families
I can remember a few years ago, whenever my school wanted to reach my parents, they had to call them, while they were working, and it would always be a bad new. I either missed a class, forgot to sign some papers, or worse..
This is not how it works in Chile any more, thanks to the start-up Papinotas, which is also a B-Corp.
Thanks to their platform, teachers and schools’ administration can communicate much more easily with the students’ families: they send texts, and not only negative news.
The platform is very intuitive, you can classify the messages, make lists of students, use templates, reminders etc.
Teachers can also send “diplomas” which can mean that the pupil behaved well, got good grades, worked hard etc. This way, the communication is much more positive than it used to be. For example, on the weekend before our visit, more than 15 000 papinotas were sent by the teachers to whish the families a great National day.
Papinotas is only 4 years old, has 230 clients (schools, high schools etc)
What a team!
We had the chance, while we were there, to attend the monthly meeting of the company : a great experience ! We arrived a few minutes late that afternoon, and everyone was in the big space downstairs doing surprising movements and weird noses.. We quickly understood they were doing a “relaxing” exercise, by groups of 4, and the ‘consigne’ was to create a machine.
Actually, they always start a meeting with this kind of exercise, which empties your mind, relax you, and which is fun.
During this meeting the leaders of each department were presenting their progress. They do this to make sure everyone one is on the same page, and to improve transparency. They also make sure they congratulate anyone who did something great. They also ask questions at the end of their presentation and the persons who answer correctly win candies !
Another thing that was surprising, was that the CEO Natalia did not talk during this meeting: she trust her teams and is confident they will say everything that matters, as they are aware of everything. So she was listening, clapping her hands, and playing with her baby.
Continuously improving the internal organisation of the company
Each week, in each department, they organise a meeting. Anyone can propose a topic and the team discusses it. It is almost the same as the Socialab.
They also organise a week-long seminar, every summer, during which they go altogether in a nice place (the last one was in the mountains). They chill and discuss the culture and vision of the company.
The also try to mutually exchange their skills within the company: someone recently organized an Excel workshop for some of his teammates. Another one did the same to teach them to make and send GIFs. Anyone can attend those little workshops.
Natalia always tries to improve the way the company is organised and managed :
She contracted a consulting service, by The Kairos Project (see next article). The deal is that Papinotas has 30 hours of consulting, and anyone can use them. Either and individual, a team, or the whole company. Anyone can ask for it, anytime, and it can be for brainstorming, learning meditation, teamwork exercises, improve people’s autonomy, avoid stress etc.
They are also designing a new way of calculating the salaries of everyone. They want it to be collective. Maybe they’ll build a comity. It will be effective in January.