John Estafanous always wanted to be a lawyer, until he realized his overwhelming passions were for team building and technology. So he ended up back in the startup world, launching RallyBright.
As CEO of this cloud-based performance management startup, Estafanous believes that RallyBright could not come at a more opportune time.
“With far more diverse and often distributed workforces, companies need new tools to understand the collective work experience and its impact on team performance,” said Estafanous. “We are democratizing management consulting and coaching, giving managers transparency in how they manage and lead.”
Offering team building for workplaces roiled by change, the name of the platform is appropriately named: Resilient Teams.
”We measure resiliency by how well a team engages with diversity, sustains performance, rebounds from setbacks quickly, and learns and grows from the experience,” said Estafanous. “That’s how the highest-level teams perform. You see a problem, engage with it, and persist together through thick and thin.”
RallyBright Playbook for Building Great Teams
After graduating law school then electing not to practice law, Estafanous jumped into entrepreneurship, launching a software marketing agency. He sold that startup to became chief technology officer for a national marketing agency, followed by head of a global digital transformation practice at a public relations firm. He easily traced his studies and career track record to his latest venture.
“Technology has been at the core of almost everything I’ve done, plus I like bringing great people together. I realized there was no playbook to help organizations build high-performance teams,” said Estafanous. “RallyBright delivers that playbook, providing actionable insights to create the best teams possible and to help people learn and grow.”
Guidance Improves Team Performance
Based in Washington, DC, RallyBright serves organizations in the U.S. and worldwide. The playbook has been popular with first-time and seasoned senior leadership teams, along with managers in sales, marketing, engineering, product development, and operations. Although customers are concentrated in high tech and professional services, RallyBright also has clients in higher education, manufacturing, food production, and other markets.
Estafanous said some companies have increased team engagement upward of 50 points as measured by their “team promoter score.” Other organizations have decreased attrition rates by up to 30 percent, while some have achieved up to 80 percent year-over-year annual growth.
Opportunity to Help Millions of Managers
To develop the RallyBright business model, Estafanous teamed up with a customer from one of his previous startups. She was an executive psychologist at a leading technology company. Together, they realized that a cloud-based team-building platform could reach many more employees.
“In the United States alone, there are over 15 million managers. We have an incredible opportunity to have a meaningful impact on those teams and their organizations in building better teams,” he said. “We’re helping everyone ─ from enterprise-level executive leaders to first-time founders ─ navigate the same challenges I faced in my first startup.”
Understanding the Ingredients of High-Performance Teams
The RallyBright model replaces the dreaded annual performance review with a dynamic approach that scores teams across five dimensions: attitude, alignment, connection, direction, and performance. Each team member also receives a personal profile based on personality and behavioral assessments. While data is anonymized, individuals can choose to share and compare profile information. However, the focus is on the collective team, not individual assessments.
“Leaders get an instant snapshot of their team’s strengths and vulnerabilities with an understanding of the behaviors behind them,” said Estafanous. “You might find your team excels at interpersonal skills yet falls short at accomplishing tasks quickly. You may discover your team isn’t resolving conflict or not spending enough time with customers. Whatever the insights, managers receive a clear road map for improvement, and they can track and benchmark team progress over time.”
SAP.iO Foundry Expertise Aligns Product to Market Demands
RallyBright was among the human resources (HR) startups that recently participated in the SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco, an accelerator for early-stage enterprise tech companies. Estafanous looked back at that experience gratefully.
“We found out how SAP and other enterprises approach the HR software landscape and what customers are looking for,” he said. “After learning about workforce macrotrends like diversity and inclusion, evolving workstyles with the gig economy, remote and matrixed teams, and multi-generational employees, we honed our marketing pitch and clarified our product road map to address these and other market opportunities.”
RallyBright is integrated with the SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite, allowing those customers to easily use its team-building tools.
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A version of this story originally appeared on SAP BrandVoice Forbes.