Learn From Pioneering Companies and Start Using These Cloud-Based Tools
We come along many liberated organizations that have established cloud-based, open, and transparent communication tools. They use these tools as a means to strengthen their values.
Values such as: transparency, quality feedback, freedom, and equality. The communication tools used by those organizations are often in stark contrast with the prehistoric communication tools that we were used to in our previous multinational careers. None of them are very new, but lots of people we meet have no idea which new tools are available to help them to be more efficient.
Liberated companies believe that being open and transparent makes it easy for anyone who is committed to the same purpose to access and share information that might be useful. They believe that data shouldn't be centralized to one single person or department that is subsequently acting as a traffic cop.
Instead, they start which the conviction that information should be as easily accessible to as many people as possible. During our first months as Corporate Rebels, we stumbled upon easy tools that help progressive organizations in the way they work. In order to help you too, we'll describe some of the ones that we've found useful so far.
Fast, easy, open and transparent sharing of documents can be achieved by using cloud-based collaborative document platforms like Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. It enables real-time adaptation of documents and secures up-to-date knowledge and actual information for everyone in the organization. Personally, we prefer Google Drive as our cloud-based document sharing platform for its extreme user friendliness.
Internal email communication is maybe the most time sucking activity of modern-day organizations. You probably recognize the endless back-and-forth emailing, the increasing amount of colleagues that are put in CC, and the toe-curling indecisiveness that go along with it. The time it takes to get the right answer from the person with the right authority, sometimes feels like centuries.
There's no doubt that email increased the speed of communication. However, nowadays there's a lot more efficient ways of communication. Lots of organizations have already started using multifunctional applications such as Slack and Skype (for Business) to replace almost all internal email traffic. We love Skype and we've recently started using Slack as well. We definitely recommend it to you as well.
Working remotely works
Pim: In my previous job we used a lot of Skype for Business as a way to contact each other as efficient as possible. It worked quite well, also to work remotely, as this example will show you.
After one year of working I found out that I loved working from home. I could turn on the stereo, do my laundry, enjoy good coffee, prepare a good lunch and work without being interrupted by colleagues. Being logged into Skype and having my phone next to me, easily connected with people at the office. I could never say that I was less productive or more productive while working from home.
Because I liked it so much, I asked my supervisor if I could work from home one day a week. He said it was fine as long as I didn't have any meetings those days. So I scheduled my meetings in four days, and made sure that I could work from home for one day a week. For over a year, I worked from home for one day in almost every week. It worked perfectly fine for me and for all the people I worked together with.
However, after more than a year of doing so I received an email from my supervisor while I was working at home. It stated: "You haven't told me you were going to work from home today. Or did I forget about it?". I replied: "No, I didn't tell you this. I didn't tell you this because we discussed this a long time ago and I have been working home one day a week ever since. I thought it was a bit useless to let you know every time."
His answer: "Oh.. well.. I didn't know that. Next time, please let me know in advance when you do so. Everybody else does this as well." I had to laugh and learned at least one thing. Apparently, the tools to work from home work so well, that some people don't even notice you're not around :).
In traditional organizations you will get feedback during your performance reviews once a year (twice if you're lucky). Liberated organizations realize that this is far below par and introduce tools like TinyPulse to exchange feedback on a daily basis. With this tool you will not get feedback only from superiors but from everyone you work with in the organization.
To do lists
Once your organization is liberated from strict traditional planning, control and measurement mechanisms it becomes up to the employees themselves to decide what, when, how and where to do their tasks. It is often useful for everyone in the organization to know the level of importance of the tasks on the to do lists.
Easy and fast platforms to collect and share your to do lists are Google Keep and Evernote. We're using Google Keep to keep track of all kinds of tasks, both personal and professional. It can also be very useful to quickly capture some thoughts.
These are just a few examples of (mostly) cloud-based tools that can make your life at work easier. We know that it will probably be a pain to convince your superior to introduce those tools into your daily life. Don't be surprised that there are 'corporate rules' that prohibited the use of these tools in your organization.
That seems to be perfectly normal for the traditional dinosaurs we work in. It's a big shame though, since they make the work you do much more efficient!
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Netflix - one of the pioneers on our Bucket List - is known for doing things differently: not just revolutionizing the entertainment business, but also by experimenting with radical management principles. The most eye-catching are its famous culture deck, the unlimited vacation policy, and the 5-word expense policy "Act in Netflix's best interest". Even more powerful than these 'exotic' practices is how they give and receive feedback.
When I was asked to speak at a University of Michigan symposium on the subject of humility a few years ago, I honestly knew little or nothing about the subject. Beyond a general understanding of what the word meant, and that it was probably a good thing to have, I wouldn’t have had much to say about why it would matter. In the intervening months of inquiry, I’ve learned a lot.