OUR BUDDY SYSTEM
August 2013
CHANGING THE WAY THE WORLD TACKLES POVERTY
THE RADICAL IDEA OF CREATING HOPE
IN A CYNICAL WORLD
LEADERSHIP THAT DOES WHAT ...
WE’VE SET THE BAR HIGH
BUT HOW DO WE GET THERE?
First, let’s take a step back…
and look at how far we’ve come.
It all started with a
…and now we’re here.
INDIA
PAKISTAN
EAST
AFRICA
WEST
AFRICA
+
+
+
+
+
LATIN
AMERICA
20
+ACUMEN
CHAPTERS
WORDLWIDE
FIVE
LOCAL
OFFICES
$82
MILLION
INVESTED
73
COMPANIES
7
CLASSES
OF
GLOBAL
FELLOWS
100M
LIVES
...
A big part of what we’ve
been able to accomplish
is because of you.
(yes, you)
And a big part of where we are going…
….will
require a lot
more of this!
OUR VISION FOR 2015
+ expand to 15 countries
+ grow our portfolio to $150M and impact
150M+ lives
+ at least 10 of our 80+...
So, what’s our plan?
Here at Acumen,
We place a lot of
emphasis on
building talent from
within.
Why?
Because we’ve got a
big problem to solve.
You know, that whole
‘changing-the-way-the-world-
tackles-poverty’
thing
Aer seeing how
charitable giving and the unfettered market
fail to create systemic change
for individuals living in pover...
…we’re turning development models
down.upside 	
  
It’s no small feat.
That’s why we want to ensure that we are
building
accountable
committed
collaborative
LEADERS
from the very start.
So we’re trying something new at Acumen.
Introducing…
“The Buddy System”
We’re always looking for new ways to ensure
our team’s
collective success.
And we want to continue promoting a
culture of
creativity
innovation	
  
& moral imagination.
	
  
But a lot of that relies on how well we
integrate our new teammates…
…and set them up for
success from the very beginning.
Think back to your first day…
You walk in, chock full of moral imagination, ready to solve global poverty…
But really you’re like, “Who do I sit with at lunch and why isn’t the WiFi working?”
That’s where you come in!
As we improve our efforts
to integrate new teammates…
…we honestly couldn’t think
of a better way to do this…
….than connecting them to
awesome people like yourself!
The “Buddy System” is more than just helping
out our New Teammates on their first day…
…it’s about playing a supportive role in our
New Teammates integration
and advocating for their success.
our objectives
1. INTEGRATION
2. CULTURE & COHESION
3. KNOWLEDGE SHARING
4. REFLECTION
1integration 	
  	
  
We want to accelerate our new teammate’s
understanding of our organization.
Those small details that oen get overlooked…
Ÿ organizational structure
Ÿ systems & processes
Ÿ teams & dynamics
Ÿ in...
But it helps us, too!
Hearing new perspectives is great feedback for
us to learn where we have room to improve.
2culture & cohesion
As a truly global team,
it can be hard to know “who’s who
in our awesome zoo.”
Especially for new teammates,
initiating re...
The “Buddy System”
forges connections instantly.
promotes understanding of our organizational culture.
builds shared persp...
kinda like that…
3knowledge sharing
You may have realized this by now,
but we’re surrounded by some
pretty interesting people here.
Let’s harness the knowledge of our
diverse and talented team
to create new ideas and solutions.
4reflection	
  	
  
The nature of our work isn’t simple.
Whether it’s
moral
ethical
philosophical
economical
or political
there are bound to be areas of ambiguity.	
  
So we want to give
you and your buddy
an opportunity to
share and discuss
those questions as they come up.
Plus, it’s a great chance to reflect
on some of the deeper problems
we’re trying to solve.
Here’s how it works:
A new teammate joins Acumen.
The Hiring Manager and
Head of Talent Development
put their heads together and determine
2 Buddies
for the lucky New Teamm...
The Guidelines
Each New Teammate gets 2 Buddies
1.  One Buddy will be from the same function, in a
different office
2.  Anoth...
And don’t worry,
we won’t ask someone to be a Buddy for more
than 2 New Teammates
in any given year.
(unless you really it...
+
INDIA
PAKISTAN
EAST
AFRICA
WEST
AFRICA
+
+
LATIN
AMERICA
We hire a new Portfolio Associate in New York.
His/her new Budd...
Once the Buddies have been determined,
the Talent Team sends out
an email introduction
to the New Teammate and both Buddie...
And just like that! Buddies at first sight.
If one of the buddies is, for whatever reason,
overwhelmed with
“world-changing poverty-solving work”
and cannot fulfill th...
Speaking of responsibilities,
You are probably wondering
what they are.
Pretty simple, actually.
1. Make the first move
2. Establish a level of communication
3. Be thoughtful
1. Make the first move
Email your New Buddy first!
None of this,
“I’ll wait to hear from them”
business.
You’re welcoming th...
Jump on that first email to set up a call within their first week.
Video chat is a REALLY good way to establish
a much stron...
2. Establish a level of communication
For the first two months,
we’d love you to be checking in
with your New Teammate ever...
3. Be Thoughtful
The calls are a
forum for your New Teammate
to pick your brain and
get answers to questions they may have.
What are some of the questions you
found yourself asking when you first
joined?
	
  
+  Where can I find information on thin...
But can you dig even deeper…
What are some of the big questions you
still ask yourself? About our work, or how
our organiz...
Be open to reflection
for both your Buddy’s, and your, sake.
We think this could be surprisingly powerful.
So, you may ask,
(in typical Acumen fashion),
how do we measure our success?
At the end of their first month,
we’ll check in with the New Teammate to
ensure the Buddy System is working as
intended; tw...
At the end of their third month,
we’ll have them fill in a super brief feedback
form to comment on the value of the process...
For Buddies,
we’ll also plan periodic
both as we launch and
once the program is underway
to ensure it’s feeling
valuable a...
And of course,
one of the best indicators of success
will be the successful integration
and impact of our new teammate,
th...
Oh, and one more thing…
We’re not completely sold on “The Buddy System”
name.
But we think you probably have some good
ideas.
So, we are officially accepting
submissions to name this new initiative!
Click here to submit your ideas
for our new “Buddy System”!
In exchange for your participation,
we are providing really aw...
Excited yet?
So are we.
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Buddy system deck

  1. 1. OUR BUDDY SYSTEM August 2013
  2. 2. CHANGING THE WAY THE WORLD TACKLES POVERTY THE RADICAL IDEA OF CREATING HOPE IN A CYNICAL WORLD LEADERSHIP THAT DOES WHAT IS RIGHT, NOT WHAT IS EASY THE HUMILITY TO SEE THE WORLD AS IT IS, THE AUDACITY TO IMAGINE A WORLD AS IT COULD BE. SO…
  3. 3. WE’VE SET THE BAR HIGH
  4. 4. BUT HOW DO WE GET THERE?
  5. 5. First, let’s take a step back…
  6. 6. and look at how far we’ve come.
  7. 7. It all started with a
  8. 8. …and now we’re here. INDIA PAKISTAN EAST AFRICA WEST AFRICA + + + + + LATIN AMERICA
  9. 9. 20 +ACUMEN CHAPTERS WORDLWIDE FIVE LOCAL OFFICES $82 MILLION INVESTED 73 COMPANIES 7 CLASSES OF GLOBAL FELLOWS 100M LIVES REACHED 58K JOBS CREATED, SUPPORTED IN COUNTRY ADVISORY BOARDS $13M RETURNED 4 CLASSES OF REGIONAL FELLOWS ACUMEN AT A GLANCE
  10. 10. A big part of what we’ve been able to accomplish
  11. 11. is because of you.
  12. 12. (yes, you)
  13. 13. And a big part of where we are going…
  14. 14. ….will require a lot more of this!
  15. 15. OUR VISION FOR 2015 + expand to 15 countries + grow our portfolio to $150M and impact 150M+ lives + at least 10 of our 80+ companies are truly transformative + 400+ Global and Regional Fellow Program Alumni across the globe  
  16. 16. So, what’s our plan?
  17. 17. Here at Acumen, We place a lot of emphasis on building talent from within.
  18. 18. Why?
  19. 19. Because we’ve got a big problem to solve.
  20. 20. You know, that whole ‘changing-the-way-the-world- tackles-poverty’ thing
  21. 21. Aer seeing how charitable giving and the unfettered market fail to create systemic change for individuals living in poverty…
  22. 22. …we’re turning development models down.upside  
  23. 23. It’s no small feat.
  24. 24. That’s why we want to ensure that we are building accountable committed collaborative LEADERS
  25. 25. from the very start.
  26. 26. So we’re trying something new at Acumen.
  27. 27. Introducing… “The Buddy System”
  28. 28. We’re always looking for new ways to ensure our team’s collective success.
  29. 29. And we want to continue promoting a culture of creativity innovation   & moral imagination.  
  30. 30. But a lot of that relies on how well we integrate our new teammates…
  31. 31. …and set them up for success from the very beginning.
  32. 32. Think back to your first day…
  33. 33. You walk in, chock full of moral imagination, ready to solve global poverty…
  34. 34. But really you’re like, “Who do I sit with at lunch and why isn’t the WiFi working?”
  35. 35. That’s where you come in!
  36. 36. As we improve our efforts to integrate new teammates…
  37. 37. …we honestly couldn’t think of a better way to do this…
  38. 38. ….than connecting them to awesome people like yourself!
  39. 39. The “Buddy System” is more than just helping out our New Teammates on their first day…
  40. 40. …it’s about playing a supportive role in our New Teammates integration and advocating for their success.
  41. 41. our objectives 1. INTEGRATION 2. CULTURE & COHESION 3. KNOWLEDGE SHARING 4. REFLECTION
  42. 42. 1integration    
  43. 43. We want to accelerate our new teammate’s understanding of our organization.
  44. 44. Those small details that oen get overlooked… Ÿ organizational structure Ÿ systems & processes Ÿ teams & dynamics Ÿ individual & regional roles …are actually pretty crucial in jumping right into work.
  45. 45. But it helps us, too! Hearing new perspectives is great feedback for us to learn where we have room to improve.
  46. 46. 2culture & cohesion
  47. 47. As a truly global team, it can be hard to know “who’s who in our awesome zoo.” Especially for new teammates, initiating relationships can sometimes be overwhelming.
  48. 48. The “Buddy System” forges connections instantly. promotes understanding of our organizational culture. builds shared perspective. deepens cohesion across teams and offices.
  49. 49. kinda like that…
  50. 50. 3knowledge sharing
  51. 51. You may have realized this by now, but we’re surrounded by some pretty interesting people here.
  52. 52. Let’s harness the knowledge of our diverse and talented team to create new ideas and solutions.
  53. 53. 4reflection    
  54. 54. The nature of our work isn’t simple.
  55. 55. Whether it’s moral ethical philosophical economical or political there are bound to be areas of ambiguity.  
  56. 56. So we want to give you and your buddy an opportunity to share and discuss those questions as they come up.
  57. 57. Plus, it’s a great chance to reflect on some of the deeper problems we’re trying to solve.
  58. 58. Here’s how it works:
  59. 59. A new teammate joins Acumen.
  60. 60. The Hiring Manager and Head of Talent Development put their heads together and determine 2 Buddies for the lucky New Teammate
  61. 61. The Guidelines Each New Teammate gets 2 Buddies 1.  One Buddy will be from the same function, in a different office 2.  Another Buddy will be from a different function, from the same or different office 3.  Ideally, Buddies will have been with Acumen for one year or longer
  62. 62. And don’t worry, we won’t ask someone to be a Buddy for more than 2 New Teammates in any given year. (unless you really it)love  
  63. 63. + INDIA PAKISTAN EAST AFRICA WEST AFRICA + + LATIN AMERICA We hire a new Portfolio Associate in New York. His/her new Buddies could be a a Portfolio Associate in Pakistan and a Business Associate in West Africa   Here’s an example:
  64. 64. Once the Buddies have been determined, the Talent Team sends out an email introduction to the New Teammate and both Buddies.
  65. 65. And just like that! Buddies at first sight.
  66. 66. If one of the buddies is, for whatever reason, overwhelmed with “world-changing poverty-solving work” and cannot fulfill the Buddy Responsibilities, they talk to the Hiring Manager to recommend a replacement buddy in their place.
  67. 67. Speaking of responsibilities,
  68. 68. You are probably wondering what they are. Pretty simple, actually.
  69. 69. 1. Make the first move 2. Establish a level of communication 3. Be thoughtful
  70. 70. 1. Make the first move Email your New Buddy first! None of this, “I’ll wait to hear from them” business. You’re welcoming them, remember?!
  71. 71. Jump on that first email to set up a call within their first week. Video chat is a REALLY good way to establish a much stronger connection right off the bat. Remember, this person wants to trust you, so give them every reason to by showing them your beaming face.
  72. 72. 2. Establish a level of communication For the first two months, we’d love you to be checking in with your New Teammate every 2 weeks. Aer that, we know you can figure it out organically.
  73. 73. 3. Be Thoughtful The calls are a forum for your New Teammate to pick your brain and get answers to questions they may have.
  74. 74. What are some of the questions you found yourself asking when you first joined?   +  Where can I find information on things like investment memos, +Acumen, branding, etc?   +  How do I use the Wiki? What’s the M drive?
  75. 75. But can you dig even deeper… What are some of the big questions you still ask yourself? About our work, or how our organization works?   Hint: we’ve shared +Acumen leadership materials with our New Teammates Eg. “The Aid Debate” and “How to Do Good”
  76. 76. Be open to reflection for both your Buddy’s, and your, sake. We think this could be surprisingly powerful.
  77. 77. So, you may ask, (in typical Acumen fashion), how do we measure our success?
  78. 78. At the end of their first month, we’ll check in with the New Teammate to ensure the Buddy System is working as intended; tweaking where required.
  79. 79. At the end of their third month, we’ll have them fill in a super brief feedback form to comment on the value of the process to their overall integration.
  80. 80. For Buddies, we’ll also plan periodic both as we launch and once the program is underway to ensure it’s feeling valuable and enriching for you too. feedback loops
  81. 81. And of course, one of the best indicators of success will be the successful integration and impact of our new teammate, thanks to your support.
  82. 82. Oh, and one more thing… We’re not completely sold on “The Buddy System” name.
  83. 83. But we think you probably have some good ideas.
  84. 84. So, we are officially accepting submissions to name this new initiative!
  85. 85. Click here to submit your ideas for our new “Buddy System”! In exchange for your participation, we are providing really awesome prizes (including non-monetary rewards such as infinite respect and multiple hugs.)
  86. 86. Excited yet?
  87. 87. So are we.

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