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CASE STUDY: AppNexus

Scaling AppNexus & Amplifying Growth Through People Development.

“CANDOR was instrumental in helping us remain focused on ensuring that we develop talent at each stage of our growth, so that we could continue to meet our company goals and people success.

Michael Rubenstein, Co-founder, President, AppNexus

 

OVERVIEW:

AppNexus is a technology company that powers the real-time sale and purchase of digital advertising online and on mobile. AppNexus harnesses data and machine learning to power the world’s open digital audience. As an independent technology company that does not own or operate media properties or digital audience platforms, AppNexus is fully aligned with the interests of their customers.

CHALLENGE:

Through the success of acquisitions, mergers, and traditional hiring, AppNexus grew from 75 people in 2011 to over 2,000 people in 2016. Executive Leadership was challenged to find a process and method that allowed for management to consistently align the right talent and behaviors to the constant evolution of the business goals and needs, while sustaining a culture that supported their values.

CANDOR STRATEGY:

CANDOR worked with Executive Leadership beginning in 2011 to assess the style and behaviors of high performing employees, giving them the opportunity to help develop them for specific roles, promotions, and succession planning. Utilizing diagnostic tools as well as one on one coaching, leadership gained comprehensive insight into areas of both risk and opportunity. This enabled them to more easily avoid potential pitfalls and expand on opportunities quickly by changing approach and communication.

Each Manager used talent assessments and behavioral profiles to gain individual and team awareness, parlaying these into working strategy sessions to enhance performance. This included balancing various work styles, improving collaboration, and enhancing cross-functional team communication. This gave all managers – and ultimately all employees – a clear roadmap for process and performance.

CANDOR empowered teams with a sharper sense of self-awareness and proactive engagement approaches to enhance effectiveness. An executive “Playbook” was created and is still used today to provide specific techniques to effectively manage each member of the team. It includes: specific topics like motivating through change and difficult situations, recognizing/rewarding performance to foster productivity, and dealing with conflict.

Regularly scheduled half-day working sessions in each department that are focused on building trust and rapport, developing effective communication, and providing techniques to manage different styles ensure ongoing alignment.

OUTCOME:

The CANDOR ‘WorkStyle ID & Awareness Program” approach worked at any level, and with any department. When new hires onboarded or acquisition integrations took place, the process, assessment, Playbook and overall self awareness program was integral in more quickly integrating new employees and reducing time to results.

  • Employees understood their own strengths and area of growth, so that they could make better choices for themselves and how to best work across the company.
  • Managers were more informed about their teams and how to manage them individually and as a team most effectively.
  • Giving all employees tools and techniques to work well together, and handle challenges without unnecessary drama, created a healthy environment throughout AppNexus’ tremendous growth period.
  • Program increased retention, reduced attrition, and career paths were successfully created.
  • For new hires and acquisition integrations this increase the Time to Performance from -8 months to 2-3 months.
  • These programs have continuously been since 2011 with reinforcement tools and UQ cards made for each and every employee so that their Work Style ID is easily understood and team collaboration is set up for success

Download AppNexus Case Study 2017.