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How to Drive Company-Wide Improvements

Cassandra Rose, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Cre­at­ing a new start­up is a wor­thy chal­lenge. Cre­at­ing mar­ket space against a sta­tus quo is next-lev­el difficult.

That didn’t scare Vishal Sunak and his team at LinkSquares, and we recent­ly got to hear about their jour­ney on The Brag­Wor­thy Cul­ture.

If you aren’t famil­iar with LinkSquares, they are an AI-pow­ered plat­form that helps legal teams at busi­ness­es write bet­ter con­tracts, ana­lyze exist­ing ones and exe­cute all of them faster. They can help com­pa­nies save hun­dreds of hours in man­u­al con­tract process­es and thou­sands of dol­lars in out­side coun­sel costs.

Find Out the Problems

It was with the gen­er­al coun­sel of many com­pa­nies that LinkSquares start­ed to devel­op solu­tions. Among oth­er things, gen­er­al coun­sel at large com­pa­nies is respon­si­ble for con­tracts and know­ing what’s inside them.

There wasn’t a ready-made list of gen­er­al coun­sels, so Vishal had one of his team put a list togeth­er and the cold-email­ing began.

While a lot of them, polite­ly or oth­er­wise, told Vishal and his team to get lost, quite a few — 2,550 to be pre­cise — were will­ing to have con­ver­sa­tions. In those con­ver­sa­tions, the same com­plaints and prob­lems came up over and over. These prob­lems included:

  • Lack of stan­dard­iza­tion in contracts.
  • Lack of cen­tral­iza­tion for stor­age of the con­tracts, dig­i­tal or otherwise.
  • Exis­tence of third-par­ty contracts.

Hear­ing feed­back like this allowed LinkSquares to start devel­op­ing tem­plates and solu­tions that made sense across a wide vari­ety of clients. It also ensured that they weren’t build­ing a prod­uct in search of a mar­ket. They had heard prob­lems and thus had the con­fi­dence to build soft­ware that could solve those problems.

Founder Superpowers

Vishal and his first hires were all grad­u­ates of a pro­gram in Boston that iden­ti­fied indi­vid­u­als who had the hus­tle and grit to get a com­pa­ny off the ground. One of the things they learned in the pro­gram was to lever­age the super­pow­ers of the founders in cre­at­ing a business.

But in this par­tic­u­lar case, none of the team mem­bers had soft­ware sales or deep AI or legal back­grounds, so that wasn’t the obvi­ous super­pow­er. What it end­ed up being was a desire to go out and sell the soft­ware ​“as hard as we could,” Vishal says. That com­mit­ment and hus­tle led them to pick up the mod­est num­ber of five clients by the end of the first year. They increased that to 30 clients by the end of the sec­ond year and today, they’re at 700 and climbing.


This all-in atti­tude in the found­ing team made its way into the DNA of the com­pa­ny, and ​“all-in” is indeed a LinkSquares com­pa­ny val­ue. When we asked Vishal about this, he referred to account­abil­i­ty.

“There’s so much work that has to be done every day with the scale of the com­pa­ny, so oper­at­ing with high account­abil­i­ty is not just how we got to where we are today but how we can con­tin­ue to grow.” That account­abil­i­ty builds trust for all stake­hold­ers; employ­ees know that oth­ers have their back and clients that what is promised will be delivered.


That account­abil­i­ty, in a cer­tain way, starts even before some­one is hired at LinkSquares. Vishal thinks that many job descrip­tions are poor­ly writ­ten these days. ​“That’s the first inter­ac­tion some­one has with us,” he notes, adding that it’s impor­tant to take the time to clear­ly explain what the posi­tion entails as well as the cul­ture that sur­rounds that position.

That all-in atti­tude con­tin­ues on through the onboard­ing process. Some­thing great that LinkSquares does dur­ing onboard­ing is to have dif­fer­ent sub­ject mat­ter experts in the com­pa­ny come to give an overview to the new team mem­bers. This gives them a bet­ter under­stand­ing of their own par­tic­u­lar cor­ner of the com­pa­ny, but it hope­ful­ly also gives them greater con­text for how everyone’s effort fits together.


Once new team mem­bers are at their roles, they need to be encour­aged on their jour­ney. One of the ways LinkSquares does this is via a Slack appli­ca­tion that allows employ­ees to anony­mous­ly give feed­back on any employ­ee, describ­ing the kind of pos­i­tive impact that per­son is mak­ing. See­ing those drip into the chan­nel is not only a nice morale boost­er but also those employ­ees are then entered in a prize raffle.

Team­work def­i­nite­ly func­tions in a spe­cial way in per­son and, like many oth­er com­pa­nies, LinkSquares has been fig­ur­ing out what its work­ing envi­ron­ment looks like post-2020. One thing the com­pa­ny trea­sures is in-per­son inter­ac­tion. At the moment, even with peo­ple com­ing in three days a week, Vishal feels an ener­gy that he wish­es he could bot­tle up and share with the remote work­ers. The remote employ­ees are giv­en lots of oppor­tu­ni­ties to come in. This includes hav­ing trav­el and expens­es paid for any time they want to come to the head­quar­ters in Boston.

The com­pa­ny also stages two big events for the entire staff each year; a kick­off event in Jan­u­ary that makes clear to every­one what the goals are for the year and a sum­mer­time event which is a big par­ty. This gives staff the chance to get to know each oth­er both pro­fes­sion­al­ly and personally.


As the employ­ees are mix­ing, Vishal wants them to feel that the com­pa­ny takes diver­si­ty, equi­ty and inclu­sion seri­ous­ly. Part of the company’s efforts in this regard includes bian­nu­al com­pen­sa­tion stud­ies to make sure that employ­ees are being paid fair­ly and are on track to be paid more over time. Some­thing less seri­ous but no less rel­e­vant is Slack sub­chan­nels for pet lovers, run­ners and musi­cians, allow­ing team mem­bers to see just how tal­ent­ed and inter­est­ing their cowork­ers are.

“Diver­si­ty is like a mir­ror,” Vishal says. ​“When prospec­tive employ­ees look at us, do they see a reflec­tion of them­selves?” Vishal acknowl­edges that this is an ongo­ing process that can always be improved but that process starts with aware­ness and a com­mit­ment to improvement.

And even bet­ter, as employ­ees see that their com­pa­ny takes DEI seri­ous­ly and they are able to find their own com­mu­ni­ties with­in the larg­er com­mu­ni­ty of the com­pa­ny, reten­tion rates go up. It’s a win/​win.

Check Out the Full Episode

Learn more from our chat with Vishal by lis­ten­ing to our full inter­view on Apple or Spo­ti­fy.

Look­ing to build your own Brag­Wor­thy Cul­ture? Fringe can help. Fringe is the num­ber one lifestyle ben­e­fits mar­ket­place. Give your peo­ple the pow­er of choice and save a ton of admin­is­tra­tive headaches by con­sol­i­dat­ing exist­ing ven­dors and pro­grams into a sim­ple, auto­mat­ed plat­form. Talk to our team to get started.

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