Are you ready to run a remote business?

Well done, you have survived the Covid crisis, distributed your team to work from home and now you want to go fully remote. That is a good call but the question you have to ask yourself is “am I fit to run a remote organisation?”.

Before you answer that, let me tell you my story.

I left the Army and set up Northlight as a small boutique consultancy to help enhance collaboration within businesses and organisations. My vision was that it would be able to challenge larger consultancies on both value and quality, which meant that overheads had to be low and the pool of talent great. I needed to go remote from the start.

I had no difficulty finding the talent and things went swimmingly for a bit but then problems started. Some of the team became difficult to work with and appeared to be less than committed. Cracks appeared that split the network into core and peripheral elements, eventually leading to fragmentation. It was a disaster and I had to face up to the reality that I had alienated some remarkable people.

Many conversations and long walks later, I worked it out. I had spent my entire working life in a centralised, if at times distributed environment, and I had attempted to impose a centralised culture on remote freelancers. I was accustomed to running organisations that worked to a central system with central regulation and was unfit to run a remote, network-based organisation that needed to function in a much looser fashion.

My second attempt built on the lessons gleaned from the first. I had to change my operational style dramatically and embrace asynchronous working, something which was entirely alien to me. I engaged with the team and between us we worked out and codified how we would operate. We set up the right channels of communication to enable formal, informal and social chat. We created a culture, based on our shared values, rather than just my values, that is right for the organisation.

The result has been to produce a highly efficient organisation that delivers top quality products. Now we have set up Springboard to the future in collaboration with Glen Maxwell-Heron to help other organisations do the same.

So, if you are thinking about moving from your current organisational model to a remote or hybrid one, just ask yourself “am I fit to run a remote organisation?”. You may find that you need to change yourself before you change the organisation.

Visit our website and download our 10 Keys to Organisational Success.

Contact us through the website to arrange a free consultation.

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