How do you set the culture and norms for the pool?

When new members enter your pool, it is a good idea to provide pool norms, expectations, and structure.
Pando Team

You are beginning to vet candidates and soon your pool will have new members. How do you know what you want your pool culture to be like?

When new members enter your pool, it is a good idea to provide pool norms, expectations, and structure. Some examples include: unspoken rules, structure, and norms surrounding meetings, communication, and pool goals.

You can have all this written down on a one-sheeter to hand off to new members or leave it as a first meeting topic.

Laying out your pool’s norms:

Setting a recurring pool meeting
  • This important because it is your face-to-face time as a group. You can send out a Doodle or When2Meet when new members join to gauge the best times, dates, and frequency for your recurring pool meetings. We recommend monthly, but ultimately it is your pool’s preference that matters.
  • Since this is a long-term commitment, and your pool is full of entrepreneurs and hard-working poolers, it’s expected that not everyone will be able to attend every meeting. Once the time is set and announced, we recommend rescheduling only if the majority of your pool cannot attend that day if you’re a pool of 5 or fewer. Otherwise, as long as you have 3-4 poolers available, a productive meeting can be had. Overall though, since you have planned your recurring meetings at least a month in advance, this shouldn’t happen too frequently.
Communication standards
  • You will want to find the best way to communicate as a group. You of course have Treehouse on Slack (set up by Pando), but does your pool communicate better over WhatsApp or Email? Since you have each other’s phone numbers, is texting better? How often do you want to chat online? Where do you want this all to be organized? These are all good topics to discuss ahead of time.
The Objective of Pool Meetings
  • Identify subjects you want to cover during your first pool meeting and schedule a meeting leader rotation so that each meeting has a different meeting leader from the last. Discuss if the meeting leader picks the topic or if the group suggests topics over Treehouse that they want to cover in the upcoming meeting. This is when you can also consider how to communicate to your pool about when it is best to ask questions during your meetings vs over Slack, etc.  
  • Defining your “rule” on attendance can be tricky because we all understand that life happens and poolers might have to miss a meeting occasionally. We suggest emphasizing that poolers should prioritize pool meetings when possible because it helps the pool grow and bond over time. If a pooler seems to be missing a lot of pool meetings and is not communicating with the pool, feel free to reach out to Pando and ask for advice on communication tactics.

Envisioning what you want out of your pool community can help answer some of these questions.

Find out what you want out of your community and cultivate it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Set a time for your pool to meet on the regular. This can be a monthly, bi-monthly, or weekly meeting.
  • Set a communication and attendance standard for your pool.
  • Create a subject list for meetings as back-up.