Ideation in remote design teams

I've found the distributed team paradigm to be enormously useful for collaborating in "sticky note" fashion. Why? Because it takes one hundredth of the time needed to get folks setup with virtual sticky pads because you don't have to tear off pages and hand them out to each individual one-by-one. There's no need to hand out pens as well because they just need to type into the keyboards.

Design intuitions benefit from non-Internet hours

The beauty of distributed work is that you can be anywhere in the world and not limited to a headquarters in some-city-out-there. That's a great way to free oneself from the physical environment of some companies that don't have inspiring workplaces. But it also means that you might get stuck working from home and without a lot of new stimulation from the non-remote universe. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Maintaining alignment when all-remote as a leader

When you think about how the online environment has enabled a myriad of decentralized activity to emerge — it makes complete sense when you consider that it's the nature of the digital medium itself. Anyone can get started on their own online, and they can consciously choose to be a nomad or part of a larger tribe. There's no value to being a nomad besides the therapeutic value of talking to yourself (I'm talking from experience here 😉 ), and yet there's a whole lot more value from connecting with others.

We’re moving from Capitalism to Talentism

I've been reading an old McKinsey report from HBR (2001) about the "War For Talent" by Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth Axelrod and loved this table: The Old Reality The New Reality People need companies Companies need people Machines, capital, andgeography are thecompetitive advantage Talented peopleare the competitiveadvantage Better talent makessome difference Better talent … Continue reading We’re moving from Capitalism to Talentism

Why videoconferencing is useful in an all-distributed team

I am a fan of all modes of tele-anything because I find it to be one of the two great things that electricity enables for us (the second one being refrigeration). When talking one-to-one on the phone, all is well because there is an understood "dance" we have all learned around taking turns. But when talking one-to-many on the phone, it works well if it is a 1-way broadcast -- but a teleconference is a "conference" versus a tele-pontification.

How to make a fully kitschy distributed company’s holiday video

Originally published December 20, 2017 on Having been a longtime fan of the over-the-top First Round Capital holiday videos, I took it upon myself to imagine what a fully remote company could make. So I set off with Automattic's Chief Semicolon Advocate Michelle Weber on a journey fueled by her reshaping of the lyrics of Jingle Bells … Continue reading How to make a fully kitschy distributed company’s holiday video

Motivating your remote team can start (or stop) with a blogging habit

As a fan of the late John W. Gardner's work on "renewal," I am also a fan of his work on "excellence." I know that word "excellence" makes some people feel either icky or excited, but his treatise of the topic is fair and sufficiently sublime that I come back to his book on the … Continue reading Motivating your remote team can start (or stop) with a blogging habit