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Top Productivity Tips from Formstack’s Ripple Effect Podcast

Lindsay McGuire
May 19, 2020
Min Read

It’s hard to believe, but season one of our Ripple Effect podcast has wrapped! Chris Byers, our podcast host and CEO, had a great time chatting with customers from all over the country.

The discussions this season ranged from how to use students as tech trainers on college campuses to ways to tell compelling stories for nonprofits. Although each episode featured a different guest with a unique story, they all provided their top productivity tips to make your workday better.

Whether you’re interested in learning more about automation or wanting to help colleagues adjust to change, we have you covered. Here’s a rundown of the top productivity tips from season one of our Ripple Effect podcast.

Episode 1: We’re All in This Together

Episode one focused on how to improve cross-departmental collaboration. Celeste Ballou of Pacers Sports & Entertainment provided great insight on how a manager can better assess the needs of their team and ensure everyone is working more efficiently.

What are the barriers I can remove from my team? What can I do to make their life just a little bit easier? And then extending that to the rest of our company. What are the tools that we have in our digital team that could make somebody more efficient or make a process smoother or automated? That’s the new favorite word around here, is if we can automate something, a way less manual process, it’s better for everybody, more efficient for all of us.

Celeste Ballou, Director of Digital Marketing at Pacers Sports & Entertainment

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Episode 2: Creating Transformational Value

Tal Frankfurt, founder and CEO of Cloud for Good, knows that productive teams need more than just technology and tools. His team understands that relationships play a major part in workplace productivity. One way his team builds these strong relationships is through giving back to the community.

We want to make sure that our employees are giving back. And part of giving back is allowing us to create stronger connections between our employees. That passion about the technology and our clients also translates to passion about each other. So it’s a very altruistic thing, I think, that we’re doing. But at the same time, it’s also a selfish thing because we are benefiting from giving back in a way we’re creating a more connected organization around those values.

Tal Frankfurt Founder and CEO of Cloud for Good

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Episode 3: Empowering Tomorrow’s Difference Makers

Change can be difficult and scary for any organization. Kow Samman has successfully led Azusa Pacific University through many big changes. His secret? Include all stakeholders and team members throughout planning, and provide clear direction from the beginning.

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Episode 4: More Than Just a Text

When you work with organizations across the globe, you learn a thing or two about what productivity tips work for everyone. Stevan Simich, the founder and CEO of Mogli Technologies, has discovered that using appropriate technology can be a game-changer for many organizations.

The answer isn’t just simply throwing technology at something. I think it’s the process around getting to the appropriate technology. Determining what is appropriate technology for an organization comes from a series of questions and curiosity. What does success look like? If we know what that definition of success is for that organization, that use case, that environment, oftentimes it’s like, oh, that’s what you’re trying to do. No problem. Try using this.

Stevan Simich Founder and CEO of Mogli Technologies

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Episode 5: Creating A Culture of Growth

Becoming a COO at 27 is no simple feat. For Nick Smarrelli, it took a lot of determination and grit. Now, with nearly 10 years of leadership experience under his belt, the CEO of GadellNet is investing heavily in his team to boost productivity, engagement, and personal growth.

We are hiring a training and development manager when we’re only about 65 or 70 employees, which is fairly unheard of in terms of having this size of HR staff. But what that allows us to do is we build one, two, and five year individual development plans, really aligning our spend around where people want to go in the organization. We have people learning Spanish, which again, has a little bit of interplay to us. But for us, it’s how do you maximize your potential?

Nick Smarrelli CEO of GadellNet

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Episode 6: Design Thinking for the Next Industrial Revolution

Technology is changing more rapidly than ever, making innovation easier to achieve. But how do you ensure you’re using technology in the most productive and efficient way? Bill Halversion and Erin Maestas of CNM Ingenuity believe design thinking is the key. On the final episode of Ripple Effect, they shared how this way of thinking can help revamp, refresh, and reinvigorate processes, leading you to a more productive workday.

In a design thinking workshop, it’s really about the conversation, sitting down and talking through the process. Once you get that nailed down and you know exactly all the detailed steps, you go back and you rethink the process. Look at all those little sticky notes and say, OK, in this process, I don’t think I need to do this anymore. You begin to look at what technology can help solve some of these pain points and automate processes.

Bill Halverson Senior Technology Advisor at CNM Ingenuity

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Bonus Episode: Adjusting to a New Reality

Have you felt unsure and stressed due to the COVID-19 pandemic? You’re not alone. In the bonus episode of Ripple Effect, our Vice President of Human Resources Miranda Nicholson shares strategies to help cope with the sudden changes to our everyday lives. From working remotely to creating productive schedules, a lot is covered in this bonus episode.

I think people will realize remote work is not as scary and unproductive as they think it is. I think allowing people the freedom to determine where they’re most productive, when they’re most productive, you’ll see that positive upswing in people getting their jobs done and the quality of work they’re producing.

Miranda Nicholson Vice President of Human Resources at Formstack

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If you’re a Ripple Effect podcast fan, thank you for joining us during season one! If you’re interested in learning more about our new podcast, check out the Ripple Effect homepage for more information.

Ready for more? Check out our Top Productivity Tips to Transform Your Workday webinar!


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Lindsay McGuire
Lindsay is the Content Marketing Manager at Formstack, splitting her time between creating blog content, writing reports, and hosting Formstack's Practically Genius podcast. She's a proud graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism (MIZ!) and loves connecting with others on LinkedIn.
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