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The secret of remote working. Have beliefs, not teams.
Sei Mani insight
The secret of remote working. Have beliefs, not teams. by Jo Mullins, 22nd May 2018
Customers often ask us how we get 70% of their 15,000 employees using meeting technology in less than six months with only 3-4 people. They expect an army of people to change the way people work. It’s because we have a culture of collaboration at the core of how we deliver change. It’s also because the technologies we coach people on are designed to be used between people in different places and it makes no sense at all to do it in a classroom. We also have a secret that might feel a bit alien to many people.
The Sei Mani team are only ever together in the same room, in the same country, for 2 days a year.
We have an office in London which we use mostly for customer meetings and presentations, but we’re a small team spread across Europe in eight different cities. We use our skills and expertise to support each other using the same technologies our customers use every day. We actively work at improving how we’re organised, how we exchange knowledge and transfer skills. It’s not easy. A culture of trust and openness is key for cultivating and nurturing our relationships. We work out loud, actively listening to each other, and use the power of video to sustain intimacy.
And this is just the beginning of our teamwork journey. At Sei Mani, we’re equals in every way. Our project teams move collectively as one unit, making decisions together and sharing responsibilities. Our common goal is to make our customers as successful as they can possibly be. Being part of a team doesn’t mean ‘collaboration’ will just happen. We’ve all been part of a team which just didn’t work, mostly because its members are never on the same page long enough to be effective.
Collaboration isn’t easy just because we’re a small company, the practices and methodologies we use to create world-class collaboration scales with big companies as well. We add the human touch to our service by having human conversations with employees and share our experiences of collaborating remotely.
Here is one example Egnyte Customer Case Study of how we’ve scaled our methodology to change the information sharing behaviours of 10,000 employees. Like all projects there were highs and lows, periods of high pressure and stress to make our customer successful. We realised the team is the real star by being united, open, responsive and supportive with each other.
Team Sei Mani
The Sei Mani team are like no other I have worked with before. It’s because of the incredible bond we have together, the right balance of personalities with a range of different skills, but most importantly the desire to succeed. These beliefs are the glue that holds us together and why it works so well. We are living proof that this way of remote working is so successful regardless of company size or the technologies used. Meet the members of the case study project team.
Kieran Kelly – Our Irish Englishman
Nicola Band – The tenacious but tactful Scot
Stu Bailey – The Geeky Northerner
Jo Mullins – The Welsh Whisperer
Ade Benjamin – Jack of Herts (Hertfordshire)
In many respects the secret of successful collaboration is to have beliefs, not teams.