Apparently, ProofHQ isn’t the only successful British startup with a remote team across the pond. Ryan Carson, the founder of Treehouse, recently took to his blog to explain how he manages his widely dispersed team of 40 from his home in the UK.
The five partners in charge of Flip Flop Shops run their expanding franchise out of home offices spread across North America. How does this entirely remote team keep the business on track while maintaining a flip-flop friendly lifestyle? President Brian Curin fills us in.
Managers of remote teams have plenty to worry about. On top of the deadlines, interpersonal conflicts, competing priorities, and keeping everyone connected and collaborating, Wharton management professor Nancy Rothbard is adding another item to their list of potential stresses: mirror neurons.
It’s one thing to work in a team with one or two off-site members. But what about entirely dispersed teams, where none of the members are located in the same office? Team leaders need to consider the interplay of three crucial factors: frequency, transparency, and variability.
It makes sense to focus on project briefs and core competencies — after all, these are what gets the job done. But what gets the job done well? Often, it’s team members’ non-core skills and experience that make the collaboration a real success.
Transparency is something we want from our collaborators, know has value, but often lag about providing ourselves. While studies show transparency nearly always results in better outcomes, people often withhold information because they feel it would take too much time or are uncomfortable sharing it.
Using a team isn’t just a way to get things done faster, it’s also a way to do things better. Gone are the days when innovation was handled by management. Smart businesses know that idea generation happens on the ground. But that innovation takes time.
Working with teams whose members are spread across offices (or even continents) can make it extremely difficult to gauge and manage project momentum. Momentum isn’t motivation — it’s a separate factor. In fact, it’s often momentum that comes into play when team motivation might be flagging.
As we rely more heavily on a plethora of communications services, the once-practical paper trail is under threat. It’s getting harder for many of us to keep track of conversations. How can teams improve communication trackability, and make the most of the tools they have available?
In interviewing members of distributed teams for Wide Teams, I’ve found that the teams that thrive are composed of individuals who go above and beyond merely “‘doing their job,” and take the initiative to put on different hats as needed.