Interview with Peter Pangalo – Creating the New YP℠ Culture

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Posted by: YP PR

In 2012, the new YP℠ was born – a change that would soon redefine the company from its past as a print-centric advertising business (under the household name, “The Yellow Pages”) into a digital media powerhouse.

As you can imagine, with a change this big would come a major shift in culture as well – one that would ultimately say farewell to a past of “siloed” organizations, unclear performance expectations, and a lack of transparency around broader business objectives.

However, as we all know, corporate cultural transformation doesn’t happen overnight. Every part of the business, from senior leaders all the way down to even the most junior-level employees, needs to be actively engaged and committed to seeing that transformation take shape. More often than not, it requires a strong leader in place to see those changes through.

Meet Peter Pangalo, YP’s head of Learning and Development.

Peter hit the ground running as of day one. He started by focusing on identifying a way to unite the 500+ tech employees at YP’s Glendale headquarters, sparking the launch of the “Educate & Celebrate” program.

It kicked off right at the start of Diwali, the annual five-day festival of lights observed by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains all around the world. Employees already familiar with the festival encouraged their peers to join in the celebration. It was an instant hit – and the catalyst for hosting similar YP-sponsored celebrations for Chinese New Year, Black History Month, Independence Day, and Women in Tech.

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We’ve taken an incredibly diverse workforce and brought them together as one,” says Peter. “Fun with a purpose, that’s my focus.”

Pangalo didn’t wait much longer to launch a second program called “Learning Labs,” a series of intensive learning seminars held twice weekly – aptly named, “Tech Tuesdays” and “How-To Thursdays” – designed to bring together employees from all walks of YP life to learn as one, YP community. On “Tech Tuesdays,” for example, Peter teams with an employee to present on a topic of interest or expertise.

“It’s inspiring to see employees rising to the challenge and teaching their colleagues. They’re learning abouteach other’s favorite conceptsand ideas, walking away with something that will make their work lives even better. It’s creating a whole new culture of engaged employees.”

This is just the beginning. In 2016, Peter plans to bring both the “Educate & Celebrate” and “Learning Labs” programs to YP’s Atlanta headquarters while testing new program offerings in Glendale, including quarterly internal YP Business Fairs, a revamped new hire orientation program, and the “Story Time With…” cross-functional conversation series.

“We always say, ‘YP is for doers’, and these programs prove it,” says Peter. “I’m so proud of the way this has allowed our employees to deepen their engagement with our great company.”

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