How the CEO of Chili Piper overcomes remote work challenges

At Web Summit 2021, we stopped to chat with Nicolas Vandenberghe, CEO at Chili Piper, a meeting lifecycle automation platform built specifically for teams.

With 170 people working in 133 cities across 27 countries, Chili Piper is no stranger to remote working successes and challenges. Nicolas shares how he keeps his team engaged and what it takes to grow a global workforce. 

Productivity thrives with a combination of industry standards and in-house innovation

The team at Chili Piper understands the advantage of using existing tools that meet their needs—”the basics,” like Zoom and Slack. Nicolas tells us that the company comes together once a week over Zoom for a collaborative meeting where things always get done.

Nicolas also emphasizes the importance of developing innovative processes. At Chili Piper, for example, they never make decisions in meetings. They’ve created an efficient method called a “decision memo” that is very adaptive to their remote environment because it works asynchronously. A “decision memo” is a collaborative Google Document where everyone contributes to the decision-making by adding pros, cons, and comments until a verdict naturally develops. Regardless of whether a team member is in San Francisco or Beirut—they can contribute equally.

Come together to celebrate your successes as a team

While his team works hard to impress customers like Twilio, QuickBooks Intuit, and Spotify, Nicolas also ensures that he gets everyone together annually to celebrate their accomplishments (though they had to skip a year because of the pandemic).  

Throwing an extravagant party where no one talks about roadmaps or corporate benchmarks is a priority for Nicolas. Chili Piper has come together for unforgettable gatherings in Paris, Ibiza, and Talum, and one of Nicolas’s favorite challenges is thinking about how he can make the next party even bigger and better for his growing team.

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