Butterfly Raises $2.5 Million Seed Round

Today, we’re excited to announce the successful closing of our seed round investment of $2.5 million, which will be put to immediate use evolving our product and building out our team to support increased client and product demand.
Participating in the oversubscribed round are: Daphni (lead), Tectonic Ventures and Precursor Ventures. Angel investors include Laurent Schwartz, co-founder of ALTEN, a multinational technology and engineering consulting company and Brandon Evans, the founder of Crowdtap (representing FoundersGuild, a global founder investor group).
With the seed round, Marie Ekeland, co-founder of Daphni, will join Butterfly’s Board of Directors. Shareholders from previous rounds include Keith Teare, Founder of Accelerated Digital Ventures and co-founder of TechCrunch , and Jeremy Le Van, co-founder of Sunrise Calendar (acquired by Microsoft).
When we launched Butterfly, we set out to address a universal challenge facing organizations around the world: New managers lack training and support when it comes to soft skills and people development, leading to a palpable leadership gap that has contributed to unhealthy cultures at companies big and small.
The Harvard Business Review reports that most companies wait more than a decade to provide executive coaching in any form, and as we all know, that’s simply too late in a landscape where millennials are rising through the ranks faster than ever and people are increasingly leaving their jobs as a direct result of poor management.
We passionately believe that the secret to healthy work cultures is strong leadership, which includes managers at every level—not just those in the corner office. We also believe that emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence, can be a tremendous resource when it comes to helping HR teams shift their focus from talent support to talent development.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our team for all their hard work, especially during the past several months of growth, as well as our early partners and investors. We look forward to evolving our product and our team to shape the next generation of corporate leadership in the months ahead.

How To Support Ongoing Learning And Education

Developing your employees means providing opportunities for growth beyond their current job functions. As a manager, you have to assess how you are supporting a well-rounded education for each of your team members. This includes education in their specific industry and in the overall professional world.

So, here are some tips, via our e-book Your First 50 days, to help you promote ongoing learning for your team:

  1. Make room in your team’s budget for an education stipend. Encourage your employees to use this resource to attend conferences or enroll in relevant courses.
  2. Share paid subscription login information for magazines and other online resources.
  3. Encourage employees to lead mini-tutorials on specific topics and skills at team-wide meetings. This can elevate the individual’s talents, as well as benefit the whole team.
  4. Invest in a team-wide Coursera or Lynda account.
  5. And continuously educate your team about any company learning and development programs.

Pro-tip
“The job of the leader is to grow more leaders.”
– Robin Sharma, Bestselling Author & Leadership Expert

To further reading, download our e-book! 

6 Work-Life Balance Apps You Should Share With Your Employees

With the help of mobile technology, it’s much easier to help your team with their work/life balance. Rachel Ritlop, via Forbes, discusses some great apps that you can share and encourage!

Productivity

ATracker: This app tracks how long an individual spends on each item of business. Consider implementing this at work meetings and encouraging employees to use this for personal assignments.
Pocket/Instapaper: These apps offer integrated bookmakers to save any article or video online for later viewing, and “they strip the content to text-only format.” This can help your employees when they’re researching work-related information.
Zapier: With this, connect more than 140+ apps together (i.e. Slack, MailChimp) to “automate repetitive tasks in the background.” Having your team members use this will allow them to focus their time and energy on more other important projects.

Health

Headspace: Headspace is a wonderful mindfulness app. With meditation and wellness tools, it promotes happiness and compassion. This is especially useful for any team members who experience burnout and stress in the workplace.

General life management

Week Plan: This is a calendar and to-do list in one. Schedule tasks simply into the app (with reminders), and check off each as they are completed. Your employees can ensure they have time for activities that matter to them.
Google Calendar Goals: This new feature allows an individual to choose a goal, and the app will schedule time for that goal based on availability. And there are options to decide how long to spend on that task, which day, how often, etc. This is great for your employees who have non-work-related goals they want to accomplish in their busy schedule.
You can access the full article here.

How To Improve Your Employee Communication Skills

How well do you communicate responsibilities to your team? How you speak with each of your team members directly affects their performance. The Butterfly Team, via our e-book Your First 50 Days, shares insights on how to improve communication skills with your employees.
In proactive communication (when you initiate a conversation), think about the outcome you desire. For example, what if you want an employee to understand how important it is to finish a task by the end of the week? You would want to clearly define the steps, and possibly repeat them for assurance. For example, you could say, “Just to be clear, the deadline is Friday 5 PM, so you’ll need to send the file by then.”
What if you want one of your team members to feel empowered by a specific task? You should motivate her. You could say, for example, “I know that your skills are the right match for this project, so I am confident that you’ll excel!”
Now, here are a few more tips you can implement to “up your employee communication game”:
1. Exude confidence, but don’t be arrogant.
To receive respect from your team, show that you are knowledgeable and ready to lead. But, never talk down to your employees; respect goes both ways.
2. Be cognizant of timing.
How and when you communicate something to your team can be just as important as the actual message. Timing and context are key!
3. Always listen!
Those who are the best listeners are also the best communicators. By actively listening, you can understand your employees’ motives much more, and empathize with their concerns.
For further reading, check out our new e-book Your First 50 Days, available for download!

How To Be There For Your Team In Problem Solving

“Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.”
Even though this is a popular way of thinking, this is a toxic philosophy for managers. With this approach, your team will not only feel uncomfortable coming to you with bad news, but it also provides a negative workspace culture. You have to be accessible to your team, and be open to lend a helping hand in the process. Sabina Nawaz, via HBR, shares her tips on how to assist in problem solving:

1. Make it safe

Remind your team that they can always come to you with bad news. This way, you can help tackle problems early on. After your team addresses a concern to you, be sure to paraphrase it, and ask follow-up questions about it.  By doing so, you can better understand the problem at hand, and it shows that you are actively listening to your employees.

2. Require problem statements from your team in lieu of complaints

Unlike complaints, problem statements are objective and consider every team member’s role in the situation. For example, a problem statement from an employee could be along the lines of, “Group A missed the deadline the past four times. In one case, we were unprepared. In the other cases, however, we were prepared, and had to work on the weekends to fill in for Group A’s late work.” With problem statements, you can figure out if there are any patterns, and find the cause of an issue. As well, everyone involved can have a part in the problem-solving process.

3. Find the right person(s) to solve the problem

Who is best person to tackle this challenge? Is it a bigger issue where you need to involve yourself more? In some cases, the employee who brings forth the problem to you can handle it on their own, but just needs your coaching (or approval). In any problem-solving situation, have your employees stretch their abilities. 
When you are open to helping with problems, your team can not only reach solutions much faster, but they also feel more empowered.
You can access the full article here.

Butterfly and Dataiku Meetup: How To Approach Data & Management

On August 29, Butterfly.ai joined forces with Dataiku for a meetup to discuss employee turnover and effective management. Our presenters shared their expertise on the tools that managers should use to better engage their workforce.

Dataiku: Predicting Employee Behavior

Guilherme de Oliveira, Data Scientist at Dataiku, presented a machine learning tool that assesses data from employees in order to predict which ones are more likely to either quit or stay at their job. The data analytics reinforced what we intuitively expect in employee behavior. For example, the data showed that employees who were not happy with their performance reviews tend to quit. Interestingly, however, some employees with a high satisfaction score in their data set quit, too. This may be because they were high performers who found better opportunities elsewhere.  And although these analytics were incredibly useful, predictions could not always be right. In these cases, Guilhereme mentioned how they needed to alter the algorithms to increase accuracy.

Butterfly: Management Tools

Simon Rakosi, one of our Co-Founders, spoke about the keys to being a great manager. He explained that managers must be “self-aware” by creating an environment that welcomes feedback. He also shared that leaning on your team is just as important as supporting them. Remember: you are only one person — you can’t do it all alone. Simon then described the importance of finding your “North Star” — or in other words,  your mission statement. For Simon, his purpose for leadership is to “help others go beyond.” By knowing your aspirations first, you can build your team and leadership from there. Then, it will be easy to set a self-training plan for yourself to accomplish these goals.
To learn more management lessons and advice from leadership experts, download our new e-book Your First 50 Days. 

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New Butterfly E-book: Your First 50 Days

Beginning a leadership position is an exhilarating and courageous move. However, it can also be a challenging one; that’s why we created the e-book Your First 50 Days. This is the essential guide for any new business leader who is ready to follow the steps to become a great manager.
Your First 50 Days provides a smooth transition for up-and-coming managers. Each day, you’ll acquire a new skill or mindset that you can immediately put into action. Also, it contains pro-tips from business pioneers, such as Robin Sharma, Indra Nooyi, and Daniel H. Pink.
We check-in on your progress periodically as you read, and provide checklists to make sure you’re accountable for what you’re learning. By the end of the book, you’ll be feeling confident as ever.
If you’re ready to take the leap, download it for free here. Also, check out our Media Kit.

Butterfly And Dataiku To Host Meetup: Analyzing Employee Happiness and Leadership Development

How happy are your employees? How effective is your leadership as a manager? If you’ve been thinking of these questions, then you should join our upcoming meetup with Dataiku, as our experts share their insights on management.
Representing Dataiku, Data Scientist Guilherme de Oliveira will discuss how you can use data sets to predict which employees will most likely stay or leave. From this, managers can better understand the important factors that explain employee decisions.
Butterfly’s Co-Founder Simon Rakosi will share what it takes to be a great manager, as well as explain the specific, scientifically-backed drivers that influence how you lead your employees. By knowing these, you’ll learn the analytics to develop a happy and engaged team, and strengthen your leadership.
Ready to learn from our experts? Join us at our meetup, taking place at 26 Broadway, New York, NY on August 29th, 6:00 PM. Sign up here!

Great Management Is About Knowing Yourself

We’ve previously discussed how leadership development is beyond the classroom. In that same vein, great management is also about knowing your true self, and directing your team accordingly. Kathleen Taylor-Gadsby, via Forbes, shares some questions to ask yourself as you develop your leadership and manage your team.
1. What gets you up in the morning?
What are your motivations? Aspirations? Do your actions coincide with the purpose you have set for yourself? This will help you determine if you’re in the right role, or even in the right company. This will also determine what’s hindering you from accomplishing your goals. And if your passions are aligned with your work, this can help you when your company is facing difficult times. Once you figure out what drives you and makes you happy, it’ll be much easier to guide team to where you want them to be and what you want them to accomplish .
2. What principles or beliefs guide your life?
What are the values you have set for yourself? Your principles affect the decisions you make and the actions you take. And these values can determine how you shape and direct your company. For example, someone who highly values service may uphold this principle in her for-profit business by focusing on and helping marginalized communities. It’s also important to see how your values can affect work culture. For example, if overt prejudice is something you can’t stand, you could consider implementing policies of inclusivity and tolerance in your company.
Without knowing your motivations, strengths, and principles that guide your life, you can’t go very far as a manager. Leadership involves finding your inner self, and bringing your energy to what you love and care about. This is how you’ll create a team that achieves goals and sees results.
To read more, access the full article here.