Breaking B(re)ad

Published on
October 28, 2013
Chris Taylor
"Ideas are only valuable when applied."
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I’m a big believer in digital teams. Virtual teams. Remote teams. However you want to word it; groups of passionate individuals working collaboratively towards a common objective, aided by technology. I believe this way of working is core to the future of high-functioning teams.

Ok. That now off my chest, I also believe there’s nothing that replaces the power of face to face. Of breaking bread together, gathering around a whiteboard and/or sharing a bottle of wine. There’s something about seeing someone three-dimensionally – of occupying a shared space – that strengthens bonds. That develops trust. A trust that’s of critical importance when you’re navigating rocky waters.

When I moved to Spain six weeks ago, I did so with my flight back already booked. Because I knew that as comfortable as we are working “remotely”, there would be value in that face to face; to debrief the first month apart. (In hindsight, this was actually more for my benefit than theirs). So now we’ve had our week of face to face. We’ve broken the bread, drank the wine, and white-boarded our frustrations and failed assumptions away. We’ve celebrated the good, and tweaked the plan for the future. I’m heading back to Spain with the confidence that we’re that much more on point than we were 2 weeks ago.

Through it all – virtually or live – we’ve maintained a steady stream of communication; not just on the “to dos”, but also on the higher level “is this working?”. It’s that transparency, that constant sharing (the good, bad and the ugly) that I believe carries us through the more hectic times. Preventative Maintenance, you might call it; a healthy alternative to damage control. Yes, it requires more upfront work, but if people drive your business (and show me a business where that’s not the case), I believe it’s crucial.

What’s your top tip for keeping your team healthy and on point?

Image courtesy of Laughing Squid