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The secret to awesome work is team chemistry: How we’re making it happen

The way we do work has changed (past tense). But given we’re such a bright species, our forced adjustment to pandemic-times ways of working has accelerated the #worktech innovations helping us work better together over virtual cubicle walls. And it has seen a blending of traditional silos: engagement, productivity, and experience. 

Cue: Cadrelo.

The genesis of Cadrelo started out as an initiative codenamed: Project Belong (we’re sweet and sentimental like that). We wanted to help teams bottle cultural lightning so they can create healthier, happier, high-performing best versions of themselves.

Here’s the why and how of Cadrelo 👇

Early days (in the not-too-distant past)

We started talking a lot about work and how some workplaces felt awesome, and others didn’t. And that even within workplaces, some teams felt awesome, and others felt… different. Like peanut butter and jam (awesome) or peanut butter and hot sauce (different).

We tried to work out why. And we came to the idea that it had to be something to do with how people worked, and not what they worked on.


We started to use words like Belong, which at that point, weren’t really part of corporate discourse. But we knew that it was important.

We started to think about this idea and expanded on it. 

We even tried to ‘elevator pitch’ it:

How people feel, how they connect, whether they feel they are important, that they belong impacts on their ability to perform.


Work is more than just a place where we go to do stuff. 

We spend a third of our lives dedicated to a ‘cause’ or otherwise, we simply just turn up and waste those precious hours willing them away. 

So, no matter what you do or what your role is, it’s important that you feel it.

At the core of work is belonging and feeling like we have a purpose larger than just what we do day-to-day. What we do must matter – our ideas, opinions, perspectives, and impact. That’s when we get the best results. 

And so, an important pattern crystalised during brainstorming: 

Success was never down to fancy individual titles, but how well a team gelled and worked together.

People made work. Work didn’t make the people.

💡So, we got thinking about what we could do about that.

Could we help teams harness or bottle lightning?

What about a #worktech culture platform that electrifies great teams?

We focused on kick-offs, culture, understanding, and performing… stuff to foster belonging at those critical stages. But not to be all serious and forceful. The core experience must be collaborative and fun.

So, we started throwing in ideas:

  • ice breakers, like two lies and a truth
  • kudos giving during retros and recognition
  • personality profiling to help members better understand and relate to each other on a deeper level
  • automatic goal and decision tracking
  • team rituals generator.

Remember: this was all about replicating those awesome organic in person experiences and applying it to the virtual world. And that’s when we decided – We would provide tools and space for collaboration, authentic conversation, mutual understanding, genuine reflection, and a vehicle for input for everyone at all levels of business. 

We set out to create an incredible experience to disarm people and gently guide their walls down so they can build stronger relationships and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their team to get the best results.

We set out to cultivate the creation of awesome teams for awesome work.

Getting it to work

Starting from scratch, we spoke with a lot of people, like awesome team members, team leaders, and agile coaches. We asked them:

“If you were to walk into a team where you didn’t know anyone, how would you know that this is a ‘good’ team?”

And they told us,

  • There’s a lot of informal chat
  • There’s humour
  • People talk about things outside of work
  • They feel like they really know each other
  • They don’t just send emails by default
  • They talk honestly with each other
  • They selflessly help each other out
  • They know they can depend on each other

What emerged was a foundation of humanity underpinning work. 🤔

How do we build an app that can do that?

Blurred lines

Early 2021, Covid is 12 months old in Australia. People are fatigued by all the video conferencing, starting to switch off cameras during calls. Energy and engagement is dropping.

And while you can send as many engagement surveys as you like, engagement isn’t something that happens at one point to be captured by a survey. Engagement is something we feel. That sense of belonging, like you can do anything with your team, and you’ll be OK. 

We read the virtual room and committed ourselves to building something completely different. 

Because engagement and work aren’t separate. Engagement happens at work when everything is in flow with your tasks and the brilliant people you work with. Only, this enchanting and energising sense of belonging and engagement is never prioritised – there are no processes around creating an amazing team atmosphere or culture because all processes tend to end up being focused on deliverables and output!

💡Boom! It happened again.

We had to focus on the “How” not the “What”.

The what is important because it gives us a sense of achievement, but the how is what awesome teams have figured out is most important in helping them achieve their what.

How are we going to achieve our deliverables to the best of our ability, today?

Cadrelo was born over a few plates of fish tacos

We caught up with an old friend over some deliciously inspiring fish tacos and set about explaining our idea to fresh eyes. Brain-fried and tongue-tied, we couldn’t get the words together to clearly explain what this all looked like in reality.

This idea that you can’t separate the emotion of belonging, task, and the people you work with. This idea that culture is shaped and built from within teams, they just sometimes need help with practical tools and processes to get them there.

But here it is clearly articulated for you, now:

We are creating a platform that just through its existence, implicitly prioritises incredible team rituals and processes *and* provides a pair of impartial eyes and ears that can step in and guide everyone on that team to be better together.

We’re here for the teams who need reminders and pick me ups.

We’re not all high-performing spreadsheet-slaying culture-championing teams. 

Cadrelo was born for the ninety percenters. Those teams who need guidance. A culture champion to lead them. A Dre to be their gold star team member showing them the way.

Build effective and aligned teams

Cadrelo makes it easy for teams to collaborate and manage their daily work. It helps teams manage daily communication, both async and real-time, helping them stay aligned and on track no matter where they are. Try Cadrelo for free and see the difference it can make for your hybrid team!

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