As the Head of Operations, Dimity plays a crucial role in both building and maintaining Coassemble during growth and expansion in the US Market.
Dimity works closely with Coassemble’s Sales and Customer Success teams to ensure they are operating efficiently and having success in their respective areas. She also is part of the Coassemble leadership team, providing insights across the business and assisting in solving complex problems.
1. Your role is quite busy and varied, what does a week at Coassemble look like for you?
Working in a dynamic startup environment, the appeal lies in the fact that each week brings a completely different set of challenges. In operations, one week might involve crafting a new sales strategy with our Sales team in Austin, Texas, while the next could be dedicated to orchestrating the relocation of our Los Angeles office and setting up our new workspace. Or, I could be back at our HQ in Newcastle, Australia working with the leadership team.
In my day-to-day, I work closely with our CEO, Ryan Macpherson, to establish efficiencies in the business. At the moment, we are working hard to ensure we are set up for success in the US.
2. Managing a team across multiple countries can be tricky. What strategies do you use to stay across everything?
We work at this every day, but I believe regular and consistent communication is key. As we are spread out across countries, this could take form as a weekly call (at the same time, same place, every week), or a Slack channel to share updates.
I find that understanding each employee and showing them appreciation is a huge help in managing a team and finding success. Employees perform better when they feel appreciated, but it should be expressed in a way that is meaningful to the individual (or team). I talk a lot about Love Languages which essentially is a quiz to determine the way people feel most appreciated.
I want to truly understand what motivates each employee and how we can get the most value out of that employee; whilst also serving their own happiness and job satisfaction. When we get this right, I believe managing that individual (or team) is substantially easier, allowing us to grow quicker.
3. Coassemble expanded into the US in 2017 and you’ve been on the ground in the US ever since. What are some markers for success you’ve seen so far?
We have a lot of data around success metrics, but there are some big, obvious markers like the number of customers we now serve in the US.
For me, it is more about how we feel as a company about the US. We are confident about our presence in the US, and we feel we have the right microlearning solution for the market. Our customers, investors and other members of the industry that we have spoken to have encouraged and motivated us to keep pushing the boundaries.
It is the general feeling of confidence that I believe shows us how far we have come as a company, and why I’m excited for the year ahead.
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4. As an Australian in the US, what were the top 3 strange things you experienced but now love about living in America?
- There is a major size difference between the US and Australia; in fact, Australia only has 25 million people, in comparison to 330 million in the US. Therefore, in the US, everything feels bigger. For example, at the grocery store, there is a huge range of products on the shelves (like cereal) that still baffles me. Frosted Flakes, Panda Puffs and Fruity Pebbles have all made my list of favorites!
- Football Sundays. Summer Baseball. March Madness. I have learned so much about sports culture in the US (and how they can dictate your whole social schedule!). It’s very different from Australian sports culture. I’m now a proud fan of many teams and have been to more live games than I can count!
- Working in the eLearning industry, I’ve had a chance to be exposed to many different American schools. The American College system is extremely different from Australia’s system. People are very proud of their college and their alma mater. I absolutely love that Americans will always support, respect, and love their school.
5. So, what is the most important thing you have learned since working at Coassemble?
When I first started at Coassemble, I was reading a book by Seth Godin. I actually think about it often. He spoke about persistence.
“Persistence isn’t the same tactics over and over.
Persistence is having the same goal over and over”
In the last two years, we have adapted often, changed often and even started again; but, we have always had the same goal in mind. I’ve learned that as long as we are flexible in our method, we will find success and achieve (if not succeed) our goals.
6. You currently head up the Ops team in a fast-growing business. What would be your advice for managing teams during a growth period?
Perfection is not profitable!
I am most definitely a type-A perfectionist. However, I have learned that sometimes the job just needs to get done. If you’re open to criticism and are committed to being responsive, you will drive quality and will be able to move at speed.
7. Lastly, what TV show are you binge-watching right now?
This is a bit of a guilty pleasure, but I am an avid Real Housewives fan. I can binge hours of those ladies! Sometimes you just need to wind down with a glass of rose and watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills go to Cabo.
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