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21Mar

Could I Get Tired of Paradise?

I woke up this morning to the sun shining through my window and the sound of the ocean waves crashing at 5AM. I drank coffee with beans that were grown at the base of a Central American volcano. I sat on my porch and watched surfers rise and fall with the sea while I turned on my laptop to start my work day.

25Oct

Encouraging Collaboration in a Distributed Team Environment

They say that leading a team is similar to conducting an orchestra; with a lot of practice and attention, you can get everyone to play the same tune. But what do you do if the orchestra members are not only in different rooms, but on different continents? How do you get your team to perform a symphony when some members are playing while others are asleep? And how can you expect to get everyone on the same page when even something as simple as ensuring a time-sensitive email is read and actioned can pose a logistical challenge?
18Oct

10 Tips for Encouraging Casual Communication in a Remote Team Environment

Casual communication at work happens continually, and is often responsible for generating innovative ideas and initiating smart solutions. In a traditional office environment, where everybody works in the same physical area, such interaction can be anything from a chat in a break room or a couple of minutes before a meeting starts, to mapping out a task with colleagues in the kitchen area and pulling two or three people together for an impromptu meeting.
08Sep

The Rat Race Doesn’t Have to be Your Reality

Today I have an important meeting with one of our executives in London.

I struggle with what I should wear. All the clothes that I own now fit into one small packing cube into one 45L backpack. I wear my only pair of pants, with my only cardigan, which probably doesn’t match my only pair of shoes. I pack up my bag, fill up my water bottle, grab a granola bar, and begin my 50-minute commute to the office that includes a bus, train, and about a half mile of walking.

28Apr

How You Think About Leading Change Matters (eBook)

“Everyone gets excited about change, except when it happens to them.”
These battle-hardened words were shared with me years ago by the CMO of GE. The data certainly back up her frustration. Depending on the study, 30% of change initiatives fail outright. An additional 40% fail to meet performance goals. Only 20% of organizations rank as having strong change leadership capabilities. And the move to distributed teams, for all their strengths, bring additional challenges that likely do more to exacerbate than to help this trend.
26Apr

Why Fun Is Essential to Employee Engagement

Your average preschool age child laughs or smiles up to 400 times per day. The average 35-year old adult only smiles around 15 times per day. Think about it. When was the last time you really cut loose and laughed so hard your belly hurt or tears ran down your face? (More on that here.) Depressing, right? So where did all the fun go?
29Mar

What Makes a Truly Sensational Company?

How can I create the most successful company possible, while also making it the best company to work for? For many managers, it can seem difficult to integrate the two. Recent surveys show that as much as 51% of the workforce feels disengaged at work, and 17.5% even claim to feel “actively disengaged” at work. With this data in mind, many managers are left grasping at straws to satisfy a largely dissatisfied workforce.
08Mar

Sococo Product Vision Roadmap Q1'16 - Overcoming the Challenge of Distance

In my last post, we reviewed a set of market trends and their impacts on individuals, teams, and organizations. At the confluence of these trends we find the fundamental challenge of Distance. This isn’t simply geographic distance, but distance across multiple dimensions resulting in significant consequences from a productivity, engagement, and cost perspective.
11Feb

A Scrum Master’s Cure for Loneliness at Work

It can be lonely at the top, amirite? Studies have proven that those in positions of authority often experience more social isolation and loneliness at work. That’s because when parties have unequal status, communication is typically not reciprocal. As a Scrum Master, you likely hear plenty of excuses complaining feedback from your team, but do you feel comfortable sharing your own struggles and challenges with your subordinates? Probably not.
26Jan

How to Mediate Conflict Between Virtual Team Members

It’s awkward to fight with someone who is a professional contact and not, say, your brother. When tensions arise in the workplace, you don’t have the same safety net that exists when arguing with a loved one. And in a virtual work environment, there can be additional challenges that arise between two people who aren’t sitting in the same room.First and foremost, when colleagues disagree, it’s important to remember that the issue at hand is not (or at least shouldn’t be) personal. It’s business.So, let’s make it business.