Founding entrepreneur of Cardiologs, Yann [Fleureau] quickly felt the excitement of launching a project, building a product and building a team. Added to this joy of undertaking is the desire to create joy in the very heart of its teams. This is why he became passionate about corporate culture. Passed by Polytechnique and Berkeley, Yann does not come from the world of health at all. And yet, driven by his scientific curiosity and taste for challenge, he tackles one of the most basic examinations in medicine, which continues to cause problems for doctors: the analysis of the electrocardiogram. (…)
Created in 2014, Cardiologs is a digital medtech, whose purpose is to make cardiology expertise accessible to as many people as possible through technology. To date, over one hundred thousand patients have been diagnosed using Cardiologs products. The company provides operational support for doctors, without ever doing things for them. This is why it is important that it be subject to the same very strict regulations as medical devices. Composed of around fifty people and with a fundraising of 15 million euros, this start-up is already well established in the United States, its main market. Relying on her unique culture, she has been able to adapt continuously, even in the troubled times of the Covid-19 epidemic, which makes Yann’s testimony particularly interesting.
Rely on a strong culture to act on a daily basis
In my opinion, it is not enough to formalize its values in a few sentences or in the form of a charter that we will distribute to each employee. Culture is not only about writing values on the walls, it is above all a question of mimicry. In a group, newcomers learn from the old ones the behaviors most suited to the culture of the company. The founders, who have been there the longest, must therefore embody the values, but this is also the case for all employees from the start and for all managers.
For example: taking pleasure in being together at work is one of our strong values at Cardiologs. Also I must be the first to create joy in the teams by a word, an attention, a way of working. This is not at all incompatible with being demanding. Being happy to create an ambitious company and creating joy in being together are two goals that particularly drive me. Besides, I don’t think I’m the only entrepreneur in this case.
Managing the business remotely
In 2020, when we were confined due to the health crisis, it was not our activity – which lends itself well to remote – that was called into question, but our culture, strongly embodied by our exchanges at the office. We have therefore created, on a voluntary basis, a committee responsible for improving telework life, while respecting our values. The value of solidarity first: institutionalized virtual and random coffee breaks, videoconference rooms always on to maintain ties, organization of online board games to create joy… Our office manager was also responsible for identifying and coordinate all the many actions put in place and ensure that no one feels isolated.
The most difficult thing is that we were at a time when it was not only a question of preserving the culture, we needed to strengthen it! Our American activity was in full development and we had planned a collective seminar to forge solid links between the teams of the two continents. Unfortunately, the health context has forced us to organize everything by videoconference! We then turned our entire program upside down to create a unique experience, a mix of teamwork, games, sharing of information, knowledge, emotions… all inspired by our values. These were two days appreciated by all the participants and which really brought everyone together.
No absolute rule
Especially during this crisis, when the rules of the game were changing rapidly, it also seemed necessary to us to embody our values in everyday decisions. They gave us a direction, a coherence. But we have tried to ensure that they do not become an absolute rule. I am convinced that questions of culture must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. For example, we have two very strong values at Cardiologs, one around performance, the other around solidarity. In 80% of cases, they are not incompatible, quite the contrary. (…)
It is normal to have tensions between your values, what is dangerous is not knowing where to prioritize. (…) With experience, it works better. We learn that values are used to organize large-scale gray areas. Each of us, in our everyday life, is faced with dilemmas of this kind. By collectively prioritizing our values, we try to build together a guide for daily action. Nothing is set in stone, everything depends on the evolution of our context, but at every moment, we try to make the subtleties of our culture legible.
The authors :
Fly The Nest supports entrepreneurs to succeed in their change of scale. This text is taken from their book, “Fly. The practical guide to a successful collective adventure”, published by Editions Dynamique Collective in May 2021, 400 pages, 19 euros.