It is all about the team.
Mike’s Blog 157
Damon commented on a recent video blog (the stress vlog) that it is all about collaboration. I totally agree there – and community – and team. Today, while here in Cebu, I spent time with team development.
Making sure people have the tools and knowledge is critical, and a lot of this can be done online, but still nothing beats F2F – face to face. Some I had not met here in Cebu as it has been close to two years since my last trip. Quite a few work at home, and actually prefer working at home than in a physical office. Traffic, stale environment, etc – plus on the business side the costs are insane for a business office.
Normally I write up the text version of the video blog before recording – today I waited until afterwards. Why? Because I’ll be honest, I was nervous to meet everyone face to face. I have other internet entrepreneur friends who have similar concerns – working with someone online can be quite different than meeting them in person. What if the dynamic changes, what if people don’t see you as they imagined and the attitude and style of work changes?
Kind of like online dating – what if they are nothing like you had imagined!
But I am very fortunate and the team is amazing and very happy to meet me. Unfortunately we couldn’t get everyone together in Philippines as the costs and logistics was much more expensive and complicated than I expected (here in Cebu there is a month long holiday in Jan I didn’t know about when arranging this trip in December, doh!)
So the other team members will get together in June. We’ll take a trip back to Philippines then, do more workshops (Janette from Digital Filipino has big plans!) in Manila, Cebu, and Davao, and also get the team together in one place.
Another worry was they wouldn’t like my latest video blog about traffic and headaches in the Philippines. But they agreed with it and said I was respectful about it.
Had group meeting as well as one on ones. Learning what the team enjoys to do, and scribbling down tons of notes on what I should do better and how to improve the processes, the SOPs, the “machine”. So much more to build inside the company handbook and so many more enhancements to the SOPs and other checklists and systems we have. But it is an asset, and I love it when I can refer to a pre-existing process for a team member to reference to. I get a bit crazy with documenting everything possible, to reduce overlap on instructions, and allow the team to have a resource to go back to again and again.
When something doesn’t work in the team flow, I have no one to blame but myself. I need to have clear process in place and listen to the needs and questions. And this time with the team has created a whole new list of systems to make – to further help everyone know what they need to do.
Boom – we have continued to grow and develop.
Wrapping up my 1 week trip in Philippines now as I write this up, and while there is always so much more to be done, we covered quite a bit. For those not familiar, I had to fly between Manila and Cebu during this one week stay, adding more travel (and traffic) time. Seriously, traffic adds huge amount of delay and wasted time so we need to budget more for that.