Asynchronous work, Communication, Openness… cigarettes

Better late than never. Let’s share the presentation I made for a talk with People R-evolution. It was on July 20th from 17.00 to 19.00 CEST (This is the link to the talk) and was about communication, openness, and asynchronous work and how it relates to happiness at work.

So two hours! Yeah, my first reaction was the same but it was pretty cool, actually, because the schema included:

  • A 30 min presentation, with some questions they gave to me as a starting point (something really cool as it assures you are talking about something that interests the audience)
  • Time in teams / groups to discuss about the presentation and find new questions for the speaker.
  • A third part where the speaker (me) answered to LOTs of questions.

2 things that I loved THE MOST

I loved the schema because it assures that the speaker can really interact with people. You can be sure that your topics are interesting and adapted to the people that is listening (and not just listening but participating). This also assures that there are lots of meaningful questions for the speaker. Besides, as the audience is encouraged to take part (and in some way ‘forced’ to take part when working in groups) they really engage: this schema generates conversations you can learn from.

They made me this picture as I was speaking:

The cigarette close to the coffee in that picture? It’s funny. Someone asked me if you could smoke if you work at home. Indeed. I don’t smoke and I truly think this is something that is absolutely better to avoid, but I say that of course you could ‘IF YOU WANT’ -if you are at home-. That’s why the cigarette is there. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

The presentation

The presentation was about how we work in Automattic (See the title) and had several parts:

  • Horizontality, Openness / Transparency and Communication as the pillars to assure anything works in A8c
  • Participation, Trust and Engagement as a result
  • Office agnosticism and skepticism for synchronicity. My ideas about asynchronous work were very inspired in Matt post about the 5 levels of autonomy
  • Hints for remote and distributed working
  • How is it working at automattic.

You have the set of slides here:

And the video and all the comments on people revolution page for the event, or below these lines.

Note: I think the most appealing concept for the people taking part (maybe disrupting for others) was the asynchronous work model. Note to self: dive into this in my next talks.

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