Happy work Humans Leadership team

HIVES : FOR DYNAMIC TEAMS

Tracey Foulkes
Written by Tracey Foulkes

Our head office is in Dublin Ireland, but most of the team, myself included, actually choose to work remotely. That places us in different time zones across the globe working together at a dynamic pace with a collective goal to change the way people work. We care deeply about this.

Yesterday we implemented a new way of working. One that at core should minimise the silo approach often forged by remote working. One that would/could/should play beautifully into building our agile team so seamlessly it feels as glorious as dipping a block of 70% cocoa lint chocolate into a steaming cup of strong tea (don’t judge till you try it).

PROBLEM:

  • Our team works remotely: they sometimes feel isolated.
  • We are operating as a start-up: think resource challenges (financial + human).
  • We want to help our team build their dream careers: their current job might not be their ultimate mission.
  • Silo thinking/acting/doing is of no benefit to anyone.
  • Micromanagement is not our style.
  • Our team is young: many of them are still searching for their sweet spot. Some of them feel out of their depth and need to talk through their thinking to gain clarity but because we are all busy, they don’t feel comfortable disturbing others. This causes backlog and overwhelm.

SOLUTION:

  1. Create a layer of close connection personally defined by the team themselves (these are the hives – call me the queen bee)
  2. Buddy/partner the team according to skill set and company objective
  3. Explain the what and why … let them figure out the how
  4. Set some rules; ours are simple:
    • make contact with your buddy to decide the best time/way/place for you to connect this quarter
    • connect at minimum on a weekly basis
    • use each other as thinking partners and sounding boards. You might need to learn more about each others jobs/projects/area of expertise … we encourage this.

PRACTICE:

While we have taken a strategic approach to quarter one’s partnering, my curiosity has me planning future hive formations as a far simpler ‘pick the name out the hat’ affair. This approach, the mix-it-up-and-hope-like-hell-it’s-a-good-decision, is what has me particularly excited right now.

  • Each quarter we’ll be exposing our team to a different side of our business
  • They’ll learn about a colleague they might not have realised even existed (other than in name)
  • They’ll be exposed to different skill-sets which might result in a positive career shift
  • The hive is the first port of call for idea sharing.

Despite our remoteness, I’m thinking that the hives could really bring a wonderful quirky edge to how we do business. I’m guessing we’re in for a couple of brilliant surprises.

I’ll keep you posted.

About the author

Tracey Foulkes

Tracey Foulkes

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