🤩 Learn how to run great 1:1 meetings from expert Engineering Leaders (Oct 6th) 🚀

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Why this CPO brought Fellow from one company to the next.

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The Customer

Meet Nicola Paganelli

Chief Product Officer at Jimdo

Industry

AI website
builder

Location

Hamburg,
Germany

Use Case

Improve company’s meeting culture

It just takes a leader at the company to say, we’re going to use Fellow, be prepared for meetings by adding to the agenda in Fellow – and magically, things will be more efficient.”

Jimdo is a website builder made for those with little to no technical or web design experience, enabling their users to build their websites effortlessly.

Nicola is the Chief Product Officer at Jimdo, responsible for shipping products to the market and understanding what is worth building for customers and the business. 

Before Jimdo, Nicola was the Chief Product Officer at Global Fashion Group. 

We met Nicola when he brought Fellow to improve the meeting culture at Global Fashion Group, and followed him along when he switched companies and decided to bring Fellow with him!

Challenge

The challenge: Going from structured meetings in Fellow to nothing

When Nicola joined Jimdo, he had been so used to managing all of his meetings in Fellow, that he felt like he was starting from scratch…

So we asked Nicola, what made you want to bring Fellow from one company to the other?

It was the first couple of meetings when I joined the company. When you start joining meetings remotely, you start to wonder… Where do I start? What do we want to talk about? Or, how do we get ready for meetings? What should I do here?”.

Due to Nicola’s familiarity running meetings in Fellow at his last company, he noticed how unproductive meetings could be when teams don’t properly think about meetings in advance.

It seems very unstructured… you usually end up with millions of Google Docs or documents that are just cluttered, and they don’t support you. Then you’ll spend way more time than you need to understand what the team should talk about.”

When people aren’t prepared for the meeting ahead of time, it’s hard to understand what’s important to talk about on the fly.

So I thought: this sounds like a problem. And the executive team realized that we tend to just jump into meetings as a company, and we don’t know what to talk about in meetings.”

The difficulty surrounding meetings usually stems from teams and organizations being uneducated about running productive meetings and the benefits effective meetings have on the business.

This is where Nicola stepped in and told the executive team at Jimdo about Fellow – the meeting management tool that helped his team be more productive at his previous company.

I thought to myself; this sounds like a similar problem we had before at my last company. So let’s try out Fellow, because it’s so easy to use, and you can use it throughout the entire organization.”

adopting fellow

Encouraging the company to adopt Fellow

When bringing a new tool into the organization to help manage something as important as meetings, it’s important to ensure adoption from all team members.

So we asked Nicola, how has Jimdo been able to encourage teams across the organization to adopt Fellow?

When it comes from the top down, it becomes more of a given that you should start filling out the agenda in Fellow. When it starts from the top, people understand faster that we have a collaborative agenda now in Fellow, and we need to add talking points.”

When it comes to implementing change management at a big company, leading by example is highly effective. Nicola provided a great analogy by explaining that:

The executives are like uranium that expands.”

Simply put, when the executives start running every meeting in Fellow, more people will pick up on it and see the benefits. 

Nicola also explains that

You always have a few champions enjoying it, and they start spreading it across their peers. For example, I have five or six product managers and designers who are consistently using Fellow, which has helped a lot with adoption.”

Solution

A place for everyone to track meeting takeaways and notes

The first thing that Nicola mentioned when we asked him, “How has Fellow helped teams across the organization?” was: simply having a place to store everything meeting-related. 

Before Fellow, people didn’t know where to put things they want to discuss with someone in a meeting. Now, instead of juggling a million different tabs, you can open the meeting note in Fellow and put all of your thoughts in the shared agenda”.

Fellow connects directly to your Google or Microsoft calendar and adds a collaborative agenda to every meeting. This means that you can add important topics to the agenda before the meeting starts that all the attendees can see and add to. 

When the meeting starts, you never have to sit around thinking about what to discuss—becoming more thoughtful about meetings results in more efficient conversations and outcomes. 

Speaking of outcomes, Nicola insists that having productive meetings in Fellow keeps him more on track, prepared and organized for the work ahead. 

Fellow works well for task management for the future because we’re running productive meetings in the present.”

When you start to track action items during meetings, you and your team become more accountable once the meeting ends. Meetings that end with a purpose move work forward and change the landscape for how teams collaborate together. 

One last feature that Nicola finds saves his team time is templates. 

We started using templates for meetings with lots of content. For example, our product weekly meeting is when we go around and show intel. With Fellow’s templates, the team knows where to put their talking points and what the order is going to be. Thanks to this template, we manage our time much better.”

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results

Nicola’s final thoughts

Over 90% of Jimdo has fully adopted Fellow throughout the organization. This has been so good because when people have meetings in Fellow, meetings run better with this tool than without. Fellow becomes your way to know what to do next. It’s like your little Microverse of what you’re doing within the organization.”

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