President’s Quarterly Q2 2024

Spring is here and we are refreshed and recharged by its arrival. Although in our line of work rainy days are disdained, lost days can be used for organizing and self-reflection. As exciting as the arrival of Spring is, so are the different initiatives we have undertaken at Doyle since the start of the year.

We set out on the year with focusing on the themes of community and care. On the community front, we have increased our events. One of the new initiatives is Doyle Dinners, a monthly ritual that is open to all team members. The power of sharing a regular meal with a group is huge. Research almost universally links very high levels of belonging and connection to groups that regularly share meals together. I was taken aback by one of our newer team members who said it was his favorite evening each month.

Another very popular past time has been Pickleball. My grandfather worked his entire career at GE and often said some of his best memories were from the company golf league. Perhaps we can grow pickleball into this type of following. We will continue to look for fun new ways to spend time together.

There is one area we are lacking in our community emphasis, volunteering. Although we do the occasional river cleanup and other one day events, we do not have a robust, methodical volunteering program. We are going to focus on this in the 2nd and 3rd quarters and look forward to providing updates in subsequent letters.

On the care front, our focuses are simple; Check Ins and Feedback. Firstly, asking our colleagues and particularly team members who report to us “How are you?” Not in the sense of how one is enjoying the weather or daily activities, but truly how are you doing? How could you be better? Someone I have always admired, Warren Buffett, says his biggest mistakes in life have been not understanding how people around him really felt, sometimes until it was too late. Think about someone important to you, and think about the last time you asked them “How are you doing?” and really listened to their response.

Perhaps our largest emphasis at Doyle right now is feedback. We want to over deliver feedback at all levels of the organization. Feedback on success reinforces strong behavior and performance where as feedback on failure is absolutely needed for growing. People have a tendency to be uncomfortable both delivering and receiving feedback on failure. This is human nature as we do not want to hurt others feelings. The irony of this is, that by not providing feedback on points someone can improve on, you are actually hurting them. We want everyone at Doyle to know exactly where they stand and improving at all times.

The truth is that you often have to provide feedback in several if not dozens of similar situations for someone to change their behavior and see it differently in a way than they naturally wanted to. Unfortunately, a lot of managers are afraid to give feedback in the first place, and then lose hope after seeing an action repeated for which they have previously provided feedback on. We are not going to make this mistake at Doyle. We are going to have honest conversations, regardless of the comfort level.

We will continue to dive deeper into our community and care themes. We are not where we want to be yet. We will touch on these in our third quarter newsletter. As always, thank you for reading.