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MAKING CHANGE A POSITIVE Startup Pivots to Help in Pandemic


Policy management software company Bateau was born to deal with change. CEO and co-founder Paul Jarvis worked for data integration and analysis behemoth Palantir and was trying to solve a problem: Whenever the company changed its policies and procedures, it was a big pain to notify everyone and make sure they implemented the change correctly. “I’d have to follow up with meetings and


phone calls to make sure they actually did it,” he says. He joined with a college friend, Henry Hutchison, a software engineer, both quitting their jobs to get it started in the summer of 2019. They were developing a product intended for retail, restaurants, and hospitality, but had talked with Cascade Senior Living as well. When COVID came along, “we reached


out to everyone we had spoken to along the way and said, look, can we help? Is there anything we can do with our technology?


“And Cascade got back to us immediately.


We realized what we were building was a really good fit for what they needed at the time, because they were changing their policies and procedures rapidly.” In addition, regional directors couldn’t


visit communities to help check on imple- mentation. With the almost daily changes reflecting local, state, and national policies, Bateau was put to the test. Cascade was highly conscious of the


potential hazards of starting a new system at such a difficult time—COVID-19 response had to come first. Bateau (trybateau.com) got it down to 20 minutes of training and set up for the first time in less than two weeks. But what does Bateau do? Let’s say you


have a document with policies that needs to change—you need to make your changes, share them with your team, and verify implementation. At Cascade, Bateau set up an infection control checklist for executive


directors that references all policies and procedures. When these change, the check- list automatically updates, and executive director gets a notification. It keeps old versions, and archives changes for insurance records; no email loops, no file cabinets, and no missed messages. They realized they liked the senior living


industry. So they pivoted. “This was a real opportunity to serve an


industry that’s in need—it’s never an option to close their doors,” Jarvis says. “For any leader thinking about making


changes, particularly technology changes, it's not just the change, it’s all the other things around the change. How will their daily routine change?” Jarvis explained that Bateau has focused


on making their software easy to learn and adopt: “You try to put yourself in the shoes of the person who's going to be using it.”


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