The Vagrancies of Modern Love
The world we live in today is all about freedom: Freedom of expression, the freedom to be who we are, the freedom of choice. The impact of this ideal of choice on our civilization has been staggering. The average consumer is spoiled for choice by businesses and brands competing for their attention and patronage and egged on in their search for perfection in everything.
Speak a word against the ideals of freedom and choice and you are a pariah. However, sometimes I wonder if the wave of commoditization created by the overabundance of choice is always a good thing?
I first started thinking about it while speaking with a dear friend. Successful, intelligent and witty, he is doing very well in his life. However, he is lonely, to the point that he calls me up everytime he gets drunk to talk about his latest romantic misadventure. These calls are a weekly occurrence now, and on every call I find that the subject of his affection and subsequent heartbreak has shifted.
“She was a wonderful person really, but our schedules didn’t match.”
“We had so much in common, but our political views were completely different.”
“I thought I had found the one this time, but she told me I was too cold.”
After every such conversation, he dives back into the latest trending dating app to continue his search for perfection. Ironically, while each of these heartbreaks chips away at his faith in finding his forever, they also make him more grimly determined to push on.
Paradoxically, because almost everyone puts their best foot forward in the initial few days of the relationship, he and others like him find themselves in a position where their list of what they want and do not want in their partner continues to grow, courtesy of their growing list of experiences until now, where his expectations from his would-be partner are so extensive that I honestly and regretfully doubt anyone’s ability to fulfil them.
I tried gently pointing it out to him once: “Life isn’t like legos, you don’t just find someone who fits you. You have to be willing to work with them to mould each other to fit each other, while giving each other the time and space to grow and evolve in your own right. There will be challenges and even fights, but you have to be willing to work through them.”
“But it is hard, and what if the person you spend all that time and effort on is not the one? There are so many options available on these apps, why not rather spend that time finding someone who fits me as closely as possible?”
In short, modern dating apps are like the lottery or a get-rich quick scheme. You can strike luck, but unless you are willing to put in the work on strengthening your connection, prioritizing the other person and working with them to get to a point where both of you add value to each other’s life, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment after disappointment.
And unlike the lottery, the costs here can very well be higher: Not just your time, but also your emotional capacity and mental well being, as like Sisyphus’ labour in the underworld, we window shop and skip from person to person in a fruitless search for true love on dating apps.
I recall a line from Anurag Mathur’s delightful book The Inscrutable Americans, where a naive Indian student on his first trip to the States is advised by his much more experienced American friend after his first heartbreak to “staple the pieces back together and move on, just don’t do it too often!”
Of course, dating applications have a lot to recommend them too. They are an easy way to find love, and get the opportunity to connect with diverse people. However, the way they have commoditized one of the strongest and most vital human emotions has brought us to a pass where we wouldn’t recognize love if it was staring us in the face. Our generation is much more likely to move on to swiping right again at the first sign of trouble, instead of putting in efforts to make things work with the person we are with.
This is not a call to stay in toxic or unhealthy relationships, merely to recognize that relationships are like seeds, they must be nurtured and require effort, time and care to grow, a fact that is increasingly being lost in a world of super likes and boosts, and temporary infatuations that end in a moment of anger. And in a world where everyone is rigid, where everyone thinks they are right, and where everyone wants to win, the victory can often come at the cost of this true love all the poems and stories talk about.
I will leave you with an excerpt from a poem by Frank Mandarano:
Trials are not easy, and you feel there’s no hope.
There are times when you feel you’re at the end of your rope,
But you must go down deep in the pit of your heart.
Let it stop your despair and give a new start.
For true love for each other is a gift some never get,
So when that trial comes, don’t ever forget
That there is a rare thing we share that had to come from above,
And those trials will end; what got you through was pure love.
But hey, what do I know? I am a loser too!
10 Ways To Lead With Humility
There are endless requirements of a leader, but one we rarely see in their job description is ‘must be able to lead with humility’, despite it being one of the strongest influencers on an organisation’s culture.
Pope Francis believes that humility is one of the most empowering leadership qualities, stating in his book ‘Lead With Humility’, “If we can develop a truly humble attitude, we can change the world”.
When your own sense of self-importance is reduced, there is space for everyone else to have importance too – and when people feel like they matter, they shine.
Therefore it is critical as leaders, that we keep an eye on our humility.
In this article, I share 10 ways that we can lead with humility.
The workplace can be a battleground
In the modern-day workplace, there are endless provocations to ‘fight’ for an outcome, ‘defend’ your intellectual viewpoint, justify an action taken, ‘hustle’ to beat competitors, compete over limited resources to achieve KPIs and maintain one’s sense of power and dignity in the often endless barrage of internal political power-struggles and personality clashes.
Some days you feel like you are part of a winning machine that is sailing effortlessly toward a postcard sunset. However, the trap is that in these times of professional prosperity, we risk losing our humility by bragging of our success, or the onset of complacency and arrogance.
Then there are other days when you flump in front of your couch at the end of a long week feeling like some of your colleagues have been assigned a do-or-die mission by MI5 to sabotage and derail you by any means possible.
It is these days especially that leaders face the challenge of maintaining their humility as the temptation to defend yourself, assert your authority and do ‘what’s best for you’ to survive, can often drown the higher self, along with the ship you’re sailing.
Having humility is not a skill that we can learn. As a noun, it is instead something that we must become – it is a way of being.
Who is the leader without humility?
Before we look at what leading with humility is, here are some examples of what it isn’t.
- They are ‘proud’ and fiercely defend their pride
- They are arrogant, egotistical and pretentious
- They focus on the failings, weaknesses and shortcomings of those around them
- They won’t admit their own weaknesses or shortcomings
- They are defensive
- They fight for their viewpoint, convinced that they are right and everyone else is wrong
- They have the inability to use the word ‘sorry’
- If anyone disagrees with them, they become hostile, irritable, and negative
- They generally have a negative outlook and complain a lot
- They see problems and challenges as things to complain about or give to other people to fix, instead of seeing them as opportunities for advancement
- They would be highly insulted and angry at the suggestion of participating in personal or professional development
- They see themselves as ‘above’ certain daily tasks within the organisation – eg you would never see them cleaning, litter picking, washing the dishes in the staff kitchen, manning a company stand at an expo, answering the main call line or escorting visitors to a colleague’s office.
- They don’t do volunteer work, or participate in anything work related outside of their duty statement and contracted hours
- They rarely say thank you or deliver praise for what has been done, but instead deliver criticism on what hasn’t been done.
Now of course dear fellow leader, none of these apply to you, right?!
Our first step to having humility is accepting that it would be almost impossible for any of us to say that we have never been guilty of any of the above.
Even if we did not commit any of the above acts of egotism with any conscious intent, if those we lead perceive (that is, interpret their own reality as to having had an egotistical experience of you), then you are still guilty.
10 Ways to Lead With Humility
1. Share the power
Having a formal leadership position does not make us better or more important than anyone else – in fact, there is nothing that makes any single human being better than another.
Respect is not something that we are automatically issued with or entitled to on the signing of our leadership employment contracts – everyone deserves equal respect and dignity.
Having a leadership role only gives you special ‘power’ that others don’t have, in the sense that you essentially have the pre-approved authority to sign some forms, and the joyful responsibility of going to jail on behalf of your organisation if ‘it all goes wrong’.
Our role is not about being better or more powerful than anyone else, but about using the authority our position has, to give everyone else genuine empowerment.
We can share our ‘power’ further by removing all ‘secrets’ from the organisational operations too. If ‘knowledge is power’ then it must be distributed.
Do your middle management or ground-floor supervisors have knowledge of your annual budget?
Do they know the details of your strategic plan, KPIs and objectives for the year?
Do they know what partnerships, products, or services you are developing?
I have found from my own experience, that the more you give away, the more you get back.
With the obvious considerations of proprietary information and confidentiality, sharing information does the opposite of deducing your power.
2. Think and act on behalf of others instead of yourself
Having humility demands that we put our self-importance and pride aside, to quieten our egos and do the opposite of what our survival instinct forces us to do innately – look after ourselves.
CS Lewis said that “humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less”.
But in the modern-day workplace, especially in leadership where your actions and competence is forever being judged by everyone, the thought of this can make leaders’ feel very vulnerable.
To have humility requires the highest level of self-confidence, as it requires us to put aside our own needs and instead only do what is best for others.
3. Give away the credit
Gifting the credit of achievements to others for something that you put hard graft into getting done in your organisation is often seen as the ultimate injustice or ‘sacrifice’ by the less humble.
However, those with humility know that there is absolutely nothing worthy of celebration that can possibly be achieved alone, and that ultimately, the success of the organisation is always a reflection of – and a credit to you – whether you get any overt praise for it or not.
Everyone has within them an abundance of unique qualities, skills, experiences, virtues and gifts and it is our job as leaders to always be on the look-out for these in action, and to celebrate and appraise them as they arise.
4. Graciously recognise and acknowledge your mistakes and areas for improvement
A truly honorable, humble, and courageous act of leadership is to acknowledge your errors. Showing those above and below you that you have the self-awareness and emotional intelligence to graciously admit the times when you acted hastily instead of thoughtfully, responded out of emotion instead of reason, given misinformation, passed a poor judgment or simply have areas that could be improved upon, is one of the most rapid ways to create an environment where everyone feels safe to make mistakes, to continue to find ways to grow and to show them that you too are a human being.
Those who do not have humility, fear that admitting their weaknesses, failings, professional development needs or areas for improvement will somehow detract from their position of power or authority. Showing your humanness is showing humility.
Making mistakes can also be a good thing! In the book ‘59 Seconds’,Dr. Richard Wiseman claims that mistakes made by people of aptitude make them endearing and more relatable.
5. Silence your own opinions to give a voice to others
This is extremely challenging in a world where at some time or another we are provoked to defend our character, decisions, skill set, or integrity. This is all about putting the ego aside – that part of us that is designed for survival.
Accepting other people’s opinions and resisting the burning desire to say your piece (particularly when you have been criticised) is not being submissive or weak. It’s an act of humility.
Some leaders refuse to listen to the opinions of others as if accepting them somehow minimises their credibility or authority.
Being a leader with humility means being constantly open to the fact that we might be wrong. Our staff are the ones on the frontline in their respective departments each day, and so we cannot possibly always have the best insight into the issues they face and what the most ideal solutions might be. If we want to improve the organisations that we lead, we need to be able to accept that those around us may just have better ideas.
Best-selling author Mark Manson says that if you want to see positive change “you must be willing to ask yourself whether you are wrong time and time again”.
6. Ask how you can help
A big misconception that many have about leadership, is that the leader’s primary role is to dish out instructions and requests to the team. But there truly can be no humility found in a leader who places herself above those who she is being paid to serve.
I believe that as leaders, our role is to help those we lead to do their life’s best work and to create an environment, equipped with the appropriate resources with which to do that.
Servant leadership is a philosophy of leadership that encourages the leader to share their power for the greater good of the organisation and the people that form part of it, and we could all help more and ‘tell’ less as leaders.
Pope Francis says “The one who rules must be like a servant. If you change your view of your role as a leader – from one who gives orders to members of your team to one who serves your reports – you open up opportunities that did not exist before”.
7. Believe that everyone is inherently good and trust in others completely
A leader less actualised will believe that people should not be trusted until they have earned it.
However, I believe that the leaders who build the most effective teams and the strongest cultures of collegiality are the ones who trust completely without question and continue to give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they unquestionably prove to have a meditated malicious intent.
Anyone who is mentally healthy and emotionally stable would never intend to be cruel, disruptive or bad.
Despite the fact that it can be hard to embrace this when we are faced with ever-challenging colleagues, tough personalities, and exhausting repetitive patterns of ineffective behavior from staff, it is important for us to remember as leaders that everyone is inherently good, but that they may need our help to overcome their adopted (often protective) behaviors.
8. Accept the organisation’s faults as your own
You may not be the CFO who cut the budget in half, or the Board Director that signed off on 40 redundancies, or the legal director who implemented the excruciating procurement policy – but as a leader, you ARE the representation of those people, their departments and the decisions that they made for the best interests of the organisation.
Leaders who complain about ‘the system’ are not leaders. They are poison – and the problem.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, we must ‘be the change we wish to see in the world’.
When we take on a leadership role in an organisation, we take on everything that comes with it. We become the representation of the organisation. We don’t get to select the parts we want to be leaders of (the fun, rewarding and easy bits) and reject the bits we don’t like or are ‘too hard’.
Although we can never change everything about an organisation we are employed by – or even one that we own (such as legislation, law, client requirements etc), we can change our attitude to the elements that frustrate us and find better ways of working with them, rather than in rebellion towards them.
As soon as we act as an enemy of the system by engaging in negative talk of the faults of the system, we switch from a leader of growth and development to a leader of an anti-establishment movement.
If the leader takes the position of helpless victim and critic of the system in which it operates, how can she expect her staff to adopt a positive, motivated and proactive attitude to finding opportunities for improvement?
Just like Mumma used to say, ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’. This doesn’t mean passively accepting dreadful practices, or putting up with inefficiencies. The point is, that you can be an assertive and change-creating leader, without being aggressive, negative and poisonous to the culture.
9. Assess, evaluate and review, but never judge
Staff depend on us for feedback and depend on us to deliver it without prejudice or judgment. Our staff shouldn’t have to wait for the formalities of an annual performance appraisal to find out whether they are on the right track, or that their output is way off course – they should have constant feedback to allow them to iterate and grow along the way.
Having humility doesn’t mean agreeing with everything or ignoring things that need to be addressed, but it does mean delivering feedback constructively and sticking only to the facts.
10. Balance personal and professional
Don’t forget to be a human. Socialise with your team, let them see that you are the same as them, have the same problems, enjoy the same pleasures and want the same things for your family as they do for theirs. Organise social events, team morning teas, staff family events, share your real and raw story of how you got to your position.
Yes, we have a certain level of professionalism to uphold at all times, however, that doesn’t mean ceasing to be an authentic human being.
In every conversation, email, letter, request and in-person interaction, we have the opportunity to either lead with grace and humility – engendering trust and empowerment in our workplace; or to allow our pride and ego to take control and subsequently annihilate our leadership future.
Humility does not demand perfection, it encourages us to have no fear of our imperfection and to not judge that of others.
Whilst some will argue that the way of the humble leader is a sign of a weak leader, I cannot find a reason to doubt that the maximum potential of a leader’s influence, derives from her ability to live and work in humility.
I certainly cannot claim to embody this way of being in my every-moment practice as a leader – there are many times that I have failed. However, at my very core, I try my absolute best, and that’s all you can do too.
BeReal: The $600M Anti-Instagram
In an age where we practically live with our smartphones in our hands, constantly checking social media (mostly Instagram/Twitter, does anyone still use Facebook?), exposed to the “perfect” lives everyone else seems to be living, do we really need another social media app?
Yes, if we were to go by BeReal’s hockey-stick growth over the last few months.
Source: Sensor Tower
Alexis Barreyat, an ex-GoPro employee, started BeReal alongside Kevin Perreau in 2019, in France. Quite the non-Silicon Valley start.
The free photo-sharing app sends a daily notification to users encouraging them to share still photos captured within a two-minute time limit using a smartphone user’s front-and-rear-facing camera 📷 simultaneously.
The notification could come at any time, which is what makes the app unique. The 2-minute time limit leaves no room for filters or editing. You’re supposed to show off your true, authentic self, doing the boring and mundane tasks you regularly do 🙋♀️.
Each BeReal that a user posts is only shared with their friends on the regular feed. However, it is possible to publicly share a BeReal on the Discovery timeline, visible to everyone.
BeReal is aimed at Gen Z users who are fed up 😤 with the perfectionist, algorithm-driven feedback loops of competitors such as Instagram and TikTok. This set of users places value on authenticity, largely due to being oversaturated with content.
The app’s goal is not to amass thousands of followers or massive influence for its users. In fact, their description on the App Store warns potential users, “if you want to become an influencer, you can stay on TikTok and Instagram.”
While some people might be hesitant to share themselves sleep-deprived 🥱 with thousands of vague acquaintances on Instagram, it’s much easier to share with your closest friends on BeReal. While you can have over 1,000 followers on Instagram, you’d probably only have 20 friends on BeReal, and you’d be happy with that.
Starting the fire 🔥 in college campuses
It’s no coincidence that BeReal’s first user market is made up of college students. Facebook came out of Harvard. Snapchat came out of Stanford.
College campuses are breeding grounds for social media startups. College students are not only the perfect test-pilots, but they also make for great promoters 📣.
BeReal gained momentum among French university students in 2021. Then, the app started spreading to the US and one of its first real attempts was Harvard.
On a Friday in early February, BeReal sponsored a party at a popular burger joint, with admission free to attendees who downloaded the app and added five friends.
They’re now running an active campus ambassador program. College students get paid to help the app grow its “college presence” by hosting parties to encourage downloads and identifying campus events prime for BeReal’s involvement. These campus ambassador programs were paying students up to $30 per referral.
Setting the right onboarding experience
The average mobile app sees 77% of new users drop off after the first 3 days. Retention rates on most mobile apps are terrible.
Great onboarding aims to guide users to their “aha moments” where they experience value from your app. Users who successfully receive value in their first visit will likely pledge their loyalty by sticking around long term and are known as activated users.
BeReal makes their value proposition extremely clear to every new user with a simple carousel that explains and reminds users about their value proposition and what to expect once they start using the app.
This increases activation and retention rates, getting more users to stick around long-term. Here are some other examples of great mobile app onboarding flows.
Growing beyond college campuses into the $600M 💰 juggernaut it is today
The fastest-growing companies typically have growth loops unique to their product that compound over time.
For consumer companies, this loop typically tends to be either:
- User-generated 👩👩👦👦 content loops, or
- A viral 🔁 loop (incentivised or organic)
- A paid marketing loop (most successful for D2C companies)
A large part of BeReal’s growth has been organic, fueled by word-of-mouth and users inviting others onto the app. Viral loops work best when:
- Value proposition extends to a broad % of the user’s network
- Short-time-to-value once a new user joins the app
- Very low monetization friction (free or low ticket sizes)
Like most social media apps, BeReal is free to use and can be shared by a user with all their friends. A new user would have to wait at the max 1 day to get a notification to post something “real”. This is why BeReal (and really most social media apps) grow virally.
Monetization strategy 🤑
It’s all fun and games in the consumer startup world till somebody brings up monetization.
BeReal is currently not making any money, completely funded by external investors.
But for any social media platform, monetizing users is directly correlated to engagement 🔁 on the app. Given BeReal’s 2-minute window to upload a post and then view your friends’ posts, there is just not enough engagement at this time.
The platform would need to find ways to increase engagement and time spent 🕙 on the app to effectively monetize its estimated 15 million daily active users.
Here are a couple of ways BeReal could monetize its user base:
- Image- or video-based advertising 📺: Risks ruining the user experience by injecting too much sponsored content when a user just wants to see what his friends are up to. Perhaps restricting this only to the Discover feed would be viable.
- Paid features and subscriptions 🗞: Similar to how Telegram monetized its audience. Animated profile pictures, unique stickers and reactions, verification badges in chats, etc. This seems to be the most likely way for BeReal to monetize.
- Sponsored challenges 👩👩👦👦: Brands would have the chance to promote challenges that are akin to their products and services. Those brands would then pay BeReal a fee in exchange for the platform running that challenge. Again, the platform needs to be aware of ‘friend’ page disruptions.
You know you’ve made it if Instagram and TikTok copy you
Does BeReal need to worry about Instagram and Tiktok duplicating its features? Well, not anymore, since these platforms have already gone ahead and copied the rising star 😅.
Earlier this month, TikTok unveiled TikTok Now, a new feature that sends users a daily prompt to capture a 10-second video or a photo using both the front and back camera.
Instagram is also rumored to be working on a BeReal-like feature.
We’ve seen this happen before ➡️. Snapchat used to be the hot new kid on the block, and Meta went ahead and copy-pasted its unique “stories” across Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp.
In that sense, social media apps today quickly reach feature parity with each other.
Will that lead to users abandoning BeReal? I doubt it because at its core BeReal promises to be authentic, to your friends 🙌. These traits are very different from Instagram, where you’re forced to display nothing but your 110%. TikTok on the other hand is largely seen as an entertainment platform.
So users should continue to use BeReal to scratch their intimate-social-connection itch while leaving TikTok to satisfy their desire for online entertainment and community.
A few other threats that the rising social media app should watch out for:
- People get bored 🥱: BeReal turns out to be a passing fad, just another Clubhouse. Why did Clubhouse fall off? Probably a story for another time…
- Loses what makes it special 📉: A wise man once said: With great venture capital funding, comes great responsibility to show continued growth. Growth by adding new features, appeasing too many audiences, and in the process losing sight of what makes it special.
What’s next for BeReal ➡️
In the spring of 2022, BeReal was valued at $600 million 🙌 via their $60M series B.
Figuring out monetization is high on the leadership team’s list. They’re leaning highly toward adding paid features and subscriptions.
Today, where 100s of companies are interested in following the internet footprints of young people; uncurated, close-friends-only social media has obvious appeal. It only gives you 2 minutes to share, but BeReal might just outlive its 15 minutes of fame.
Of course, to give voice 📣 to the other side of the argument, the best and only way to truly ‘be real’ is to stay off social media and put the phone down.
Navigating International Newsroom: How To Set Up And Coordinate A Remote Media Team
Countries from around the globe are connected by a network of journalists and media outlets that share developing news stories throughout the land. The public thrives on political, educational, environmental, and inspirational news that can help them in their daily lives. It’s a complicated business to run a publishing company that spans the globe; it takes patience and planning.
I am Tetyana Fomina, Editorial Operations Manager at AmoMama. I have been working with AmoMama since its inception in January 2017. Since 2017, I have developed skills and experience in building processes within vast projects run by people in multiple time zones thousands of kilometers from one another. If you’re trying to start your own publishing company from the ground up, I have some important tips to share with you.
AmoMama is an entertainment media publishing company working under the international IT company AMO. The AmoMama cooperates with over 120 people who write and develop stories for an audience around 40 million people per month in the US and Western Europe. Content is distributed in four languages; French, German, English, and Spanish.
Cooperating Conservatively For A New Business Venture
While your business idea is still formulating, consider it to be in “test mode.” At this point, you don’t yet want to hire a large team. First, you should concentrate on hiring journalists to investigate and write new content.
As your media outlet idea becomes viable, meaning that your content is starting to drive traffic, you can expand your team of journalists and add editors and proofreaders. As your company grows, you can continue investing in your written content’s quality.
How To Properly Scale Your Team
Pay attention to the workload of everyone. When the staff is overloaded with work, it can create bottlenecks in your publishing process that could be costly and create terrible working conditions for the team.
For each new job vacancy, you open up for hire, think of the entire team as a whole. Hiring a new journalist will mean that more stories are being written that need to be edited, designed, and so on. If you focus too narrowly on one portion of the team, you run the risk of creating an unbalanced workload throughout the entire team.
How To Set Up Processes When Your Remote Newsroom Is In 11 Time Zones
If you’re going to dabble in international publishing, then you’re going to have to learn to navigate all the time zones that you cover. This is both a blessing and a curse because although it can be a difficult and delicate juggling act, you can end up with a workforce that literally works around the clock for your business.
At AmoMama, we will cooperate with people from different time zones and schedule them so that they only slightly overlap during the working day, typically by 1 or 2 hours. The rest of the time, they work autonomously, taking turns replacing each other.
Make sure that the entire functional unit is working in the same time zone or at least on the same schedule. For example, if we start working with a new journalist who has a night schedule in a specific time zone, we have to find a content analyst, editor, moderator, and designer to work with that person simultaneously. Otherwise, you create a broken system where hours are spent wasted while someone waits for approvals or tasks to be done before they can move on with their own work. Ideally, you will have one of these functional units working in each time zone that you need to cover.
You may end up with more people working day shifts in your most popular time zones. If that is the case, you can create smaller evening shift teams and distribute training documents and skill builders to teams with lower workloads.
Streamlining Operations In An International Editorial Office
We work for the audience in the United States and Europe. Different countries have different standards for what constitutes fair use, protection of personal data, and other issues that could have legal complications. You have to keep track of all the laws that regulate your business in the areas you work and the areas you publish content.
In order to have better control over an international office, we have moderators and editors roles that are responsible for content approvals. They are also responsible for doing a detailed review of all content for compliance with the laws for each area.
As little as three years ago, we had journalists approving and publishing their own content, but that model was not sustainable in the long run. Having these checks and balances in place reduces the risk to the business and makes things flow more smoothly.
If your content doesn’t comply with rules and laws, then you can be removed or banned from social media platforms or be subject to fines and other penalties. This is precisely why we implemented a multi-step verification process at AmoMama.
Managing Expectations With Remote And International Teams
As you can imagine, we don’t have team members working around the clock in different time zones within a single office building. We cooperate with people that work remotely, and there are some interesting challenges in running a remote publishing team.
Many of the people we cooperate with are used to having a flexible schedule with minimal controls. Some can adjust to a more structured work environment, while others cannot. Make sure to set the expectation from the very first interview that your publishing company is fast-paced and has strict deadlines.
Make sure new people know that professionalism is a must, and they should be able to complete agreed tasks, participate in conditioning interviews and meetings if needed.
Finally, you must be able to find a way for people from very different backgrounds to come together, by collaborating on the same project. Things like manners, and communication can vary by culture. In some cultures, people are very organized in their work process, while in others there is a more relaxed system. Usually, you can overcome these differences by setting plans from the start with agreed rules and collaboration expectations for things like project timing and task completion. It can also help to collaborate with people with great multicultural communication skills to help coordinate the process.
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