Seventhman Blog

  1. Do You Manage or Lead Innovation?

    "innovation creativity"Sometimes, doing nothing is the right thing when it comes to giving your team the independence they need.  Managing an invisible workforce made it harder for businesses to trust their virtual teams to become more innovative.  The physical distance has become a great challenge where leadership and management is concerned.  The issue always come in how you can motivate your team to achieve their fullest potential.  How do you know that they’re working and committed to your business goals?

    Manage Without Managing

    I can’t deny that this is the age of creatives and geeks – of individuals who will push the limits of your imagination so you can come up with a cutting edge solution.  But with talent comes difficulty, especially on how to manage effectively.  You see, your talented crew may also be the most difficult to work with as they want autonomy far from the structured work environment that we see in the turn of the industrial age.  But, this doesn’t mean you can’t lead them.  You have to walk on a tight rope here and keep your balance, to make them feel that they’re part of a group while giving them the freedom to explore. It’s not easy.  Achievable? Definitely.

    When Conflict Meets the Creative Process

    You may disagree with me, but when teams are forced to face a conflict, they are more likely to come up with better solutions.  The key here is moderation.  If you’re open to the idea, instead of trying to control the leash on your people – let it loosen a bit and encourage civil disagreements on certain tasks.  Their independence will translate to inter-dependence as they try their innovative best to come up with the best fix.  Your team’s diversity may just be the missing link between failure and success.  Innovation becomes a fun, exciting quest for everyone then.

    Lessons I Have Learned in Working with Creatives

    To lead or to manage?  I’ve often asked myself this.  In my years of working with remote teams, I have learned that guiding them helps us all win.. than me having to actively manage people like puppets.  This doesn’t mean that there are no rules.  Instead, I focused on the bigger picture.  Boundaries are simply guides so everyone’s effort can complement each other’s.  Think of your team as a pack and you’re the pack leader.  It’s not about deadlines, but more on timelines.  Think about that the next time someone missed a milestone so you can address the issue, and not the person.

    If there’s one hard pill to swallow – it’s learning that there are better, inspiring ideas than yours.  It’s up to you now to listen, collaborate and open up avenues for creative conversation with your entire team.  You have the power to encourage everyone to think big and when they do, your appreciation will mean more than anything else in the world.

    Are you ready to give your team the freedom to fail.. so they can succeed faster?

  2. Building Loyalty in the Age of Virtual Teams

    "building loyalty"Creating loyal workers in the outsourcing world may seem like some fairy tale in the digital world.  But, is it really possible to create an atmosphere of trust, respect and honesty in a niche where attrition rate is on a record high? Last time, I have shared my five tips on how you can successfully manage your virtual team and this time, I’ll give you an insider’s approach on how your business can grow one seed at a time – through harnessing the power of dedicated and motivated teams, wherever they are located in the world.

    Flexibility at work

    Outsourcing, telecommuting, freelancing, remote work, virtual assistance and and so on.. What do they have in common?  Value – that they bring to your business.  Just take a look at this infographic and you’ll see how working from home is fast becoming the norm, embraced even by a few Fortune 500 companies.  The temporary is now the new ordinary in an age where independent contractors and on-call workers are competing with sourcing vendors and agencies.  More brick and mortar businesses are seeing amazing results from those who work remotely than those in the office.  Does it mean that virtual teams are better than your traditional team?

    The Invisible Tie that Binds

    For many years, I have managed people in various locations that making them all work together for a common goal seemed like a climb to Mt. Everest.  I’ve worked with managers and teams in the same office and I come to realize that when people work closer, they often take things for granted.  Soon, your office becomes a breeding ground for complacency.  There were instances when team leaders would go through all the trouble of sending unnecessary emails when their teams are just a few feet away.  It could have been faster if they cross that physical distance and announce the news themselves.  It’s just that with virtual teams, people are making the extra effort to make collaboration work – helping them maximize the best tools around.  It is the absence of face time that helped, I’d say.

    Building Engagement in Dynamic Teams

    Those who offer remote work as an option has already taken one step forward in motivating a person to be at his/her best.  It’s a win-win for both.  Now, the question is: Can you build the same loyalty in the world of outsourcing?  Whether you source locally or offshore, it is 100% possible if you put in mind that it’s not technology that makes your business – it’s your people.  Trust is the very foundation of it all.  You will always reap what you sow, so start to genuinely care and give your team the chance to shine.  Be fair.  Treat everyone with due respect.  Encourage them to ask questions and be open to dialogue. You may never know that the next big idea is just waiting to unfold.

    Listen…

  3. Synergy: Doing Business in Real-Time

    "synergy"It’s amazing to see the correlation between the rise in  remote work and the growth in virtual teams around the world.  A survey even shows that 77% of American adults feel that online meeting is on the rise.  When companies are in a boot-strapping mode so they can meet their business goals, just how can teams that are spread out geographically collaborate like they do in real-time?  Of course, online collaboration saves a lot on travel time and transportation cost, not to mention that participants are more focused meeting online than offline.  Even after years of working with virtual teams, I still face daily challenges in managing it and having an open mind is just a start.  The real question is:  How can you make your process work?

    When Real-Time Performance Feedback Counts

    If you’re working with people across different culture, you know that having a global mindset is the key to making everyone work seamlessly together.  Having a common language is not really enough.  You have to combine communication tools with real-time feedback to your team so they can learn and improve faster.  Most often, feedback come in a little too late and people end up with disagreements.  To engage your virtual workers, you have to give constant feedback that will encourage good habits and practices.  Thanks to online conferencing tools and social networks, this is not an impossible task.  I’m using Yammer to share constant updates with my team, to keep a friendly and healthy discussion, or when I need to implement a quick change.  Think of it as having your own knights-of-the-round-table in a click.  Slipping out a note of appreciation can work wonders too and yet, how many of us have sent a thank you note lately?  Call it your digital pat on the back and it’s time-tested to boost your workers’ morale, no matter how far they are.

    Keeping the “I” in Agile

    I.. for innovation, that is!  Just how can you mix quality time with real-time connectivity?  And if you can, will you create a synergy that will help bring you closer to your goals?  Creating a real-time feedback loop is a serious game that demands business agility, where people can excel at their skills.  Still, there are some who say that the Agile process is anti-innovation.  This can be true though if your user stories are not based on real scenarios that your business face.  The problem with online collaboration comes in when there are more than two users/players in the scene and most often, too much time is wasted on talking about things that are not related to the issue at hand.  To learn faster and come up with effective solutions of getting things done will require not only abstract thinking in a technological perspective, but innovative minds as well.  If you are transparent with your team about your plans and processes, you open the door to making better decisions for your business.

    Revamping Your Business Process Management

    With globalization, the demand to accelerate business processes to come up with real-time solutions is becoming a necessity.  In the name of growing a brand’s recognition and business profit, organizations will have to learn how to synergize by getting rid of information anxiety and empowering their team at all levels.  It will all come down to managing IT, the people.. and maximizing business value where tech is concerned.  These days, the fast will beat big and everyone will be forced to innovate.  Doing business in real time may simply mean alignment of strategies and performance feedback from day-to-day… and responding quickly to change.

    Are you ready to empower your team?