If you’ve ever called, walked into, or tweeted at Pivot, you’ve met Ashley. She’s a great writer, the guardian of our office, the star of our karaoke nights, the best catcher on our kickball team, and secretly one of Beyonce’s backup dancers (not really . . . but really). And we’re going to miss her when she moves to NYC.
“Company culture” is a phrase that gets a lot of attention in business magazines promising to escalate offices to the heights of workplace nirvana. There are more tips and strategies on that subject than I can count. But here are Pivot’s three steps to developing company culture: (1) Hire good, caring people. (2) Support each other. (3) Learn from each other.
We learned a lot from Ashley in the year that Pivot was lucky to have her, and we look forward to learning more as she takes over the world at BuzzFeed.
“What I learned from Ashley Ford”
“Ashley and I, we know too much about each other. I can say this. Even before she came to Pivot, Ashley was a force, a presence in a place that somehow demanded your attention without demanding your attention. She glowed. She glows.
“If there’s one thing I’ve taken from my years with Ashley before Pivot and while she’s been here, it’s how to let myself glow. Somedays when I would be thick in my to-do list or letting my internal editor rampage over every word I wrote, she would tap me on the shoulder and say, ‘Get up and dance.’ And I would, or I would take a walk or go to lunch. I would let myself breathe.
“Thank you for that, Ashley. If you could, shoot me a text every now and again to tell me to take a walk. Chances are, I’ll still need it. You know me. Best of luck in New York, dear friend.”
“One of the first phrases I remember hearing from Ashley Ford was, ‘It’s not my thing, but I can appreciate the hustle.’ Since then, I’ve always been more conscious of appreciating folks simply for their dedication and strong work ethic — even if it’s something I disagree with.
“Ashley is a social media master. Her writing skills certainly help, but it’s her authenticity that goes the farthest. People are naturally drawn to Ashley because of her genuine approach. If she can help someone else by sharing her personal experiences, she’ll offer up every last bit. That’s a good marketing lesson for us all, isn’t it?
“It certainly won’t be the same without her. I’ll miss the office shenanigans that always consisted of singing and dancing. Dolly and Kenny said it best: islands in the stream, that is what we are [mic drop].”
“Ashley Ford taught me not to be so hard on myself. I’m not sure she fully succeeded in this mission, but I appreciated the effort.
“For Ashley, friends and family are her number one priority. She doesn’t judge; she doesn’t freak out; and she takes time to have fun. Every day she asks, ‘How are you doing today, boss lady?’ And she means it. That means a lot to me.
“I’ll miss her genuine concern, her laugh, and her stories. I guess we’ll just have to share Ashley — and her wonderful humanness — with the whole world now. I believe that might just be her calling.”
“Ashley helped shaped the culture here at Pivot. She is great at collaborating, and when things get tense, she reminds us it’s okay to laugh. She inspires us to be bold and be true to ourselves. But there’s no more important lesson than what she’s taught us about dancing. There’s nothing quite like a Dougie lesson or a twerking demo to get a Friday morning off to a great start!”