As the face of business evolves, more small and medium businesses are outsourcing work to remote employees or independent contractors versus maintaining the brick and mortar offices with onsite employees. The advances in technology have made it possible to find employees and contractors around the world. But what kinds of work should be done remotely, what can be effectively outsourced overseas or should be U.S. based, and how does an employer keep workers accountable? Jason Hartman visits with Leadership IQ founder and CEO, Mark Murphy, about these questions. For details, listen at:
www.SpeakingofWealth.com. Mark explains outcome-based management techniques, such as deadlines for projects, technologies to monitor employees, and various instant messaging programs to check in. Mark encourages outcome-based work accountability over technological monitoring to build a healthy relationship and accountability with workers. Mark also discusses screening and hiring from the remote workforce, describing the personality types that work best remotely. Additionally, he shares the importance of good leadership, stressing that leaders need to be much more explicit and transparent, and have clear expectations with a clear “why.” One of the major sources of remote employee dissatisfaction is feeling left out of the loop.
Mark Murphy is the founder and CEO of Leadership IQ. He leads one of the world’s largest studies on goal-setting and leadership, and his groundbreaking research has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Businessweek, U.S. News & World Report, the Washington Post, and hundreds more periodicals. Mark has appeared on CBS News Sunday Morning, ABC’s 20/20, Fox Business News, and other top broadcasts. Mark has lectured at the Harvard Business School, Yale University, the University of Rochester, and the University of Florida. And his clients include Microsoft, IBM, MasterCard, Merck, MD Anderson Cancer Center, FirstEnergy, Volkswagen and Johns Hopkins. Author of the new book Hiring for Attitude (McGraw-Hill; Dec. 9, 2011), Mark has also written the international bestseller Hundred Percenters: Challenge Your People to Give It Their All and They’ll Give You Even More, as well as Hard Goals, The Deadly Sins of Employee Retention, and Generation Y and the New Rules of Management. Among his many honors, Mark was a three-time nominee for Modern Healthcare’s “Most Powerful People in Healthcare Award,” joining a list of 300 luminaries including Hillary Clinton and Bill Frist — among only 15 consultants ever to be nominated to this list. He was also awarded the prestigious Healthcare Financial Management Association’s “Helen Yerger Award for Best Research” for being the first person to discover the link between patient mortality rates and hospital finances. Some of his other well-known research studies include “Are SMART Goals Dumb?,” “Why CEO’s Get Fired,” “Why New Hires Fail” and “Don’t Expect Layoff Survivors to Be Grateful.”
Previously, Mark was President of a joint venture with Mercer Human Resources Consulting. Prior to that he was a partner in the management consulting subsidiary of VHA, Inc., the world’s largest healthcare consortium. He holds degrees from the University of Buffalo, executive coursework at The Wharton School and an MBA from the University of Rochester. He lives in Atlanta and Washington, DC.
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Jason Hartman: My pleasure to welcome Mark Murphy to the show. He is coming to us from Atlanta today and he is the author of Hiring For Attitude in the CEO of leadership IQ, and he is doing a bit of a specialty nowadays I guess in the subject of remote employee management, remote employee leadership. He has got an incredible resume which includes Harvard business school lecturers Yale center etcetera, etcetera, and lots of media exposure as well so it’s a pleasure to have Mark on the show today. And Mark welcome, how are you?
Mark: Oh great. Thanks so much for having me. It’s a great pleasure to be here.
Jason Hartman: My pleasure, so tell us a little bit about your background first and then let’s get into some real specific usable concepts and techniques for remote employee management.
Mark: Sure you know my wife is these days basically spent trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. I had realized long ago that if we just looked at management practices and then tried to come up with what was going to sound need the guru perspective that didn’t worked. What we tried to think about is what actually works and does not work in the real world, and basically disseminate that information we do it through webinars and seminars and books, and all the rest, but really it comes down to what does the research show works what practices actually work in the real world and absolutely do, and remote employees given a flattening of today’s organizations given that some OF your best people may be 12 hour time zone away from you. Its — we’ve got to figure out better ways of creating organizations that are it still maintains culture, still maintain alignment even when you are managing people that could be thousands of miles away from you.
Jason Hartman: Sure and you know I have a hidden agenda here on this interview Mark so I hope you don’t mind. Its not really hidden, but I want to learn about how to manage my own businesses better, and I will just tell you that I have, I have redesigned them substantially over the last several years in influences frankly was reading the 4-Hour Workweek you are probably familiar with that book and I used to have big offices, big staff high overhead, lots of stress, and frankly lots of babysitting, managing office politics and so forth. And you know in the past few years I have really virtualized a lot of my business. I have remote workforces and so far I’ve only had good luck with U.S. base remote employees or contractors. I have tried India in the Philippines and India without success at all. I’ve been very disappointed trying to do the off-shoring low-wage concept just has not worked for me at all. I guess it must work for some people but I am looking for what can I learn about it and a lot of our listeners I think have really kind of developed a new identity as to what having a small to medium-size business means nowadays and certainly people in the corporate in the big corporate world as well dealing with remote employees just like you said.
Mark: It’s interesting. The one of the big things that people have to grapple with is the kind of work they are actually trying to take outside of the organization and trying to bring remote so for example you know there’s some work that has its very discreet. It has a very distinct beginning and an end point, and basically one of the things we found is the more discrete the work the easier it is to bring outside of the U.S. the less discrete the work the harder it is to bring outside the U.S., so for example if you’re trying to take work that involves coordination of people if it involves getting sources of input from one place and another and molding that together that’s not very discrete. It’s not one person doing one task that is really localized on their desktop. Its they have to interface. They have to coordinate those sort of that kind of work is, is tougher to offshore whereas work you know if you need to have an illustration done before you know a proposal you are putting together something like that well that pretty easy to take to India or the Philippines or China where as it doesn’t so much matter very discrete work that can be I need this three macros written to do XYZ, or I need a subroutine written that does this and this. This stuff is very easy to offshore, but generally what we found is a lot of organizations really struggle with bringing any kind of coordinating function outside of the outside of the U.S. and so even you think about remote work there’s so many different kinds of work the company do some of some of it very outsourceable and virtualizeable, and other pieces of work just aren’t. you know there is always going to be something that there is a face-to-face communication for example absolutely Has its place, but the more we can actually distinguish between the kinds of work we are supposed to be doing and then it starts to become clear you know some of this can be brought over state we just that somebody in the U.S. typically still going to end up coordinating that work.
Jason Hartman: Yeah and that seems to be the way it goes with the off shoring world. I mean the U.S. is still very good at project management or coordination I would say and you know it’s interesting because on every Apple product it says designed in Cupertino, California Made in China and that really, and that’s certainly not an uncommon concept of course, but Apple always sort of builds it that way, and at and others don’t. They just say Made in China in China, and I think that’s very true. The U.S. still really has a very powerful place in the world in terms of creativity and initiative and for all the great things about manufacturing in China and doing programming in India and call centers in the Philippines or Costa Rica. The U.S. really just culturally has a certain something about it that really gives it a major, major edge with so much beating up on the U.S. nowadays and I do it too. It’s sad to see all these jobs go offshore in many ways, but I don’t think America could be replicated too easily in the areas which it really still leads.
Mark: No. And that’s the — that’s the real distinct, the real critical element is to figure out you know again what kinds of works we should be doing remotely and what kinds aren’t and the other thing is to think about that when it’s the very task based kind of work there is a tendency for managers to think that if I take this remote that means its less management time, and one of the critical things we had seen with the most successful organizations doing the whole remote workforce thing is that it doesn’t saves management time. What’s taking work outside of the organization can do, what have in the remote workforce can do is sometimes it can be less expensive, but it can also the more important benefit even that’s not the primary benefit. The primary benefit is that it widens your access to talents you know if you are sitting in Ottumwa Iowa that’s not going to give you access to the kinds of quality the technological help for example that you did if you were sitting in the Bay area in California, but with the remote workforce you can access that same level of talent and the critical mistake I see organizations make is when they think well oh this is going to save me management time and the reality is that if you want high performing remote workers it’s still going to take management time. Oh it changes. You are not doing face-to-face meetings and all of that, but they still have to be coordinated. They still have to be aligned. You still have to check in with them everyday. It just that gives you a A) a bigger pool of talent and B) you don’t need as much office space so that kind of stuff.
Jason Hartman: Sure and you know it ends up about a zillion problems too. It does create some new ones, but think about it in the traditional workforce, you have the problem of the office politicking issues, you have safety concerns, workers comp concerns OSHA concerns, legal concerns like sexual harassment or any type of harassment and I found that when I had the big officers, and the staff right there, I was dealing with a lot more frankly babysitting type issues and dealing with a lot of those issues which really sucked up a lot of productive time in my opinion you trade one set of problems for another, no question about it. But how can you trust remote employees, and I guess this is less true if there a contractor and you are paying them for actual piecework type of pay for play type of pay which course every employer loves because its not fixed cost but if they are an employee especially how do you know, how can you trust them, how do you know that they’re actually working.
Mark: Its one of the things and you raised just a minute ago with the getting rid of some of the office politics stuff. One of the things that remote employees does it forces you to really think through sure the outcomes of the work. Its one of the reasons I love the issue of the remote workforce is that it forces a kind of clarity that often companies just kind of skate pass. They take for granted so for example you’ve have to think through more carefully well what are the deadline, what are the expected outcomes, and what point do I want be these, these projects to be completed and it allows for a more outcome based kind of management as opposed to an our state kind of management so we become less concerned with how many hours, how many minutes are people sitting at their desk and they staring off in the space and they are actually working, and we become more concerned with what was actually accomplished was it correct, was it not correct it would be the deadline etcetera. And in doing that if we focus our work on you I want to make sure that everybody’s working every minute of the day. There are technologies for example you know when oDesk one of the — you know the great contractor management systems out their marketplace for finding independent contractors. You know one of their great innovations was utilizing technology that when somebody’s working on your behalf they had to sign into the system, and it gives you a screenshot that they are going throughout the day, and there were certainly plenty of systems like that where people have to login.
Jason Hartman: And I looked at oDesk by the way because when you’re someone hourly you want to know that they are working. Now, of course they could be playing a game on the other computer on the desk or surfing Facebook most certainly, but you have to give them a percentage of the pay. And I mean that can get pretty expensive I would think it can also almost negate the purpose at least that’s the way it works with oDesk. What are some of the other ones you said marketplace is that an another one I’m not familiar with it?
Mark: There is a number of them that basically do the same thing. There is about 50 different technologies we’d seen that that allow you to basically monitor sort of remotely monitor what your folks are doing, but I will tell you honestly what we found works even better than that even better than the monitoring system although I would say too, if you use a system, and depending that you are part of big corporation you will have some kind of an instant messaging system typically although you know if you’re on using the Google enterprise services there is a chat function that you can use that you can just pull up and call somebody via a webcam chat or what have you just a voice chat even or a text chat at and point the day and if they respond that tells you something right there. The single best thing we found is having outcome based work and management as opposed to activity based and then you know faced up away from their desk for 20 minutes at some point if they are accomplishing the outcomes you want to see accomplished it’s one of the pluses that people like about the remote workforce is that it allows them to structure the day, structure their work and gives them the freedom to step away for 20 minutes. Now, it’s one of their jobs where you it’s not so much outcome-based but rather its presence based that is you need them to be accessible any minute of any day then having more frequent communications being able to chat them, being able to pop that up at the milliseconds notice those are the kinds of things that tend to keep people accountable. You know for all of the technology out there systems that count keystrokes and all of that you know there was a system years ago and the stuff first started coming out in the 80 that was counting keystrokes and where people actually you know typing on their computers were admins doing what we paid them to do and so they figured out a system. They would take a — they would take a big heavy dictionary and put it on top of the keyboard so that the keyboards were just you know it was like it was typing constantly so you want to count letters I mean there is always a way to gain the technology. The real issue is making sure that the management that underlies it and the communication that’s in place; the relationship in place is doing what you want to be doing.
Jason Hartman: Certainly yeah.
Mark: So that takes care of everything.
Jason Hartman: And you know the hiring right and good leadership skills and we are going to talk about that, but before we do Mark hiring is so critical so first of all are there any hiring tools in particular that you would recommend I mean certainly over the years I’ve used and been familiar with the different like personality assessments and things like that. Are there any great web-based hiring tools that are especially might be especially used for, for the remote workforce for hiring and screening the remote workforce and then you know even before that where do you find them I mean you know I use Craig’s list quite extensively. The problem with Craig’s list though is it doesn’t offer any sorting capabilities or its certainly got the exposure to the marketplace, but it — it would be nice if it actually had some categories and people had to fill things out and things that you can always refer them back to a web form that does that but thoughts there?
Mark: Yeah there is a number of things. There isn’t a magical assessment that works for two reasons. Number one they are easy to gain the only kinds of psychological assessment that you really can’t gain the ones that have to be administered by clinical psychologist and then they become illegal to use from a hiring point of view because they end up with a selling debt they have become a clinical diagnosis so that’s a very sketchy area. The other side of it is that every organization is a little bit different so really what you want to do is take a look at the people that you know if you just take for example in the past three months the three best people and your three worst people that basically tells you the characteristics right there that you’re looking to hire and the characteristics you want to make you don’t hire, now with remote employees specifically I will tell you that one universal trait we found is that people who are, who are quiet, and who are passive, and who are reacted, and need to be told what to do not work well in remote situation so its funny. It is the exact opposite of the sort of the mix we had about the remote workforce that well, you know if the quiet people those are the — since they are quiet anyways those are the people who tend to do well in remote situations and turns out that’s not the case. It turns out that the — it’s the more outgoing natural networker types to do better in remote situations and the reason is that by virtue of their abilities to build networks whether they are remote or they are co-located which is just the technical term for being faced to faced being in office or somebody whether they are remote or co-located they are able to build the kinds of relationships that are necessary to get work done in these days, and so its the quiet loner types who are passive, who tend to withdraw, and they can sulk on occasion. They tend to need their boss to constantly tell them what to do that is a generally speaking that is a bad personality mesh with a remote working environment and so you really want people that have a history of being proactive of building relationships, and the other side of it is in a remote before you give any — have somebody be a remote employee make your, your first interviewer or two remote, don’t automatically bring people in for face to face is have it and see how it works, and given the task to respond to see how well they do with it. They have them go to your website and give them a couple of questions that they have to answer see how proactive they are with that and those again those are going to be some of the personality characteristics you are going to be looking for when you’re talking about who works well in a remote environment.
Jason Hartman: What are some of the leadership skills though I mean you kind of touched on some, but you know as a specific question I wanted to go into that I mean how do you lead and manage remote workforces?
Mark: One of the things leaders have to do — they have to be much more explicit and transparent so they have to surface issues. They have to talk about things that a lot of leaders would take for granted. Let me give you a couple. So when you’re having a conference call let’s say you are having a have a face-to-face meeting. The face-to-face meeting often times you can tell if people are agreeing with you were not agreeing with you simply by their body language. They engage, or they are not engaged so they are paying not paying attention. In a conference call kind of setting you don’t have that luxury it’s harder to tell if people are engaged or not engaged and so one of the things that leaders have to do is they have to actually start asking people all right now, listen I just outlined a plan for you [unintelligible 0:20:25′ past five minutes. So here is what I want you to do. I want you to repeat back to me what you heard me say because I want to make sure that I’m on the same page as you and you are on the same page as me here so let’s go around everybody on the call, I want each of you to go and repeat back to me whatever I just said. And you have to do tests like these to really make sure that people heard what you wanted them to hear. Again its one of those issues that is being much more explicit about things, also being much more explicit about something we call it a level of freedom and the level of freedom is basically how much rope does this person get you know is if I give them an assignment, and am I sending them off to go assess the situation report back to me and then I will decide what to do, or am I sending them out there and saying you know go assess the situation pick a course of action and just go do it whatever you think it’s right you know which in and whatever levels in between there. What am I asking? How much freedom does this person actually get? Its something that managers and employees do not often talk about, but in especially in co-located environment they tend to just take that for granted again the reason why is that you can walk past an employee ‘s office and pop in and say so where do you stand with the Johnson project? Oh I was just about to send it out. No, don’t send it out until I get a chance to look at it. Oh okay and you can you can just do those things and then we move past them, but in the remote space if we don’t talk about it explicitly A) we don’t get that information and B) what ends up happening is when people work remotely they automatically assume that there is more autonomy than there is when they are co-located and that may not be the case at all in fact what we found is that most managers actually want their employees to have less autonomy because manager start to get nervous when their employees are remote they start to get nervous and they start to wonder what are they doing. What are they doing, and then they start to check up more which can really cause problems and employer is presuming that oh I had total autonomy and the manager is now thinking that they’re taking the way autonomy this becomes a problem. Another big issue is that when managers are assigning work one of the things that managers often just take for granted is the why of the work so you give an assignment you know I needed you to do this report. I need you to throw this analysis in. They often don’t say here’s why this has to be done. Here is the client this is serving. Here is why this is important to the company. Here is why we’re using this new technology. Here is whatever the why is. They often don’t explain it and then do things happen in that case. Number one is the employee misses out of that information and it actually handicaps. It hampers their ability to actually get this work done and get it done effectively. The second thing is if you’re trying to build a culture of remote workers then this is one of the big complaints that remote employees have is they also feel they don’t really understand the direction of the company. They don’t really understand why we’re doing things and where we’re going and this is one of the major sources of remote employee dissatisfaction is they feel cut off from all of this information they would normally get inside an organization it’s the why you know this is a new client. They missed the fact that we are excited about this. They can’t sense it. They don’t get that interaction from their fellow employee so it’s something that again we have to be really explicitly. We can’t make a lot of the assumptions we make in the co-located world. In the remote world my general rule is if you think you shouldn’t have to say something like I shouldn’t have to say that. They should already know that if you ever say to yourself, I shouldn’t have to tell somebody this its a safe bet in a remote environment you have to tell them that.
Jason Hartman: Right. Don’t in other words don’t take it for granted as much as you might in a in-person environment so good points. Let me take a brief pause in just a minute.
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Jason Hartman: When things go wrong I mean obviously retention is part of the game and we talked a little about recruiting but how about retention I mean what drives remote employees to quit?
Mark: When they feel disconnected from the organization’s direction when they feel disconnected from the strategy when they feel isolated not so much in terms of [unintelligible 0:25:26] off doing their work but when they feel like there work is being made more difficult because they don’t have access to certain kinds of resources that they feel like other people would have access to. There is an interacting catch-22 that co-located employees tend to be jealous of remote employees because they feel like the remote employees get more autonomy, but remote —
Jason Hartman: They probably think they’re just kicking back by the pool.
Mark: Exactly and by contrast the remote employees are jealous of the co-located employees because they feel like the co-located employees are getting access to the boss. They are getting better opportunities. They get more phase time. They are in the in-groups. They get — they have a better chance of advancement in the organization because they get more phase time on the box and so each of the groups is actually jealous of the other group and they are both right. Both groups I have actually identified not that their remote employees kicking by the pool, but there is a certain de facto autonomy that comes just from being out of the side of the mind, but there is a very big downside to that as well and so one of the major demotivators for the remote employee is when they feel like they are disconnected and that means the loss of opportunities. It means the loss of education and training and not the formal kind of seminar stuff, but the informal stuff just having meter opportunities, having a little extra bit of coaching from the boss. They really feel like they’re neglected by their bosses. They feel like they’re missing out on opportunities to get out of sight out of mind and they feel like this is going to do a longer term damage to their careers and so those are some of the bigger demotivators for the remote employer.
Jason Hartman: What you’re saying that’s interesting how you pointed out how each group is jealous of the other. The employees who are in-house the co-located once as you call them are jealous of the remotes and the remotes are jealous of the in-office people in-house people and it reminds me of the game of love and relationships. You know there is two sayings about that when you’re not with your significant other. Number one is out of sight out of mind okay and the other is absent space the hard go founder so you know I guess both are really true. Aren’t they?
Mark: Exactly and it turns out that it’s like you know yeah I got a weekend to myself and then you are looking there oh.
Jason Hartman: Guys weekend or girl’s weekend right yeah.
Mark: Yeah but and then you turn around and you go oh well, now I don’t get to see them all weekend and you know it really is a that there is a — it’s a double-edged sword and one of the things that leaders really have to be careful of is thinking that what I said at the beginning is that if a manager goes into the thinking that oh good, they are remote. Now, I don’t have to talk to him as much. I don’t have to manage them as much. It turns out that it’s actually not the case is they will take every bit as much time and energy to manage. Its just — it’s going to manifest itself in a different way but if they feel disconnected that’s where that that trust starts to erode like what they are they doing and then the employee is thinking well, they don’t care about and then the manager is thinking well I don’t think they are really working, and without either party saying a single word to each other their relationship can start to sour simply because of all the assumptions they’re making about what the other one is or is not doing and that’s just a deadly place for as relationship to be.
Jason Hartman: Sure it is. Its is amazing to me that you talked about a computer program, a software program for managing remote employees that was, that was available back in the 80s. I mean I have no idea that this sort of new way of working was even that old. I mean when you say the remote employee or the remote contractor I mean this whole discussion by the way we keep saying employees but it really applies to both in so many ways contractors and employees. When would you say that really was sort of in full swing when did it begin really in any real way?
Mark: I am going to give you a very bizarre answer to this question. And I am going to say about 3000 years ago.
Jason Hartman: Okay.
Mark: And the issue is that when you think about the Roman Empire when we think about where did you have to control people who were operating on your behalf that you couldn’t see for periods of time. Really we’re going back in history to the great empires and I find it particularly instructed to think about it in those terms because what it points out is that the challenges we’ve had we have nowadays are the same challenges we had literally thousands of years so we think about okay well its communication breakdown that my message is getting misinterpreted its people not being proactive in responding back, and letting me know you know what new territories they have captured. Its do they appreciate what kind of freedom I am giving them or not giving them. Do they have the same sense of freedom that I believe they should have here. All of the same management issues we grappled with literally 3000 years are the issues we grapple with today. You know again I point that out because the notion of remote management is not a new issue. We treated like this is a brand-new thing but the reality is the same problems we dealt are the same problems we continue to deal with and so it’s a modern-day form you know it’s really been a function of this internet age, and really its bizarre to think about that there were plenty of companies that if you take a look at 1996 for example you know this is when websites were first starting to really get out there. Yeah there were companies that have websites before that, but in terms of popular use you know it wasn’t a universal small company not every small company had a website 1996-1997. This is only 10-15 years ago we are talking about here, and so in its most modern form it’s really about the past 10 years that this remote thing in the internet and the chatting and all of that stuff that has existed but since the — even into the late 70s companies have been concerned about what their employees are doing when they are not being watched and that’s where that software that came out to count keystrokes that’s where that came about. It was fundamentally about a manager wanting to know what their employees are doing now whether they are —
Jason Hartman: And I got to — I want to mention something about that because you know that’s not all like over were holding the staff accountable issue that shouldn’t even be viewed in a bad way because remember we are all familiar with the Hawthorne experiment that was very positive. I mean if I am I hope I am getting the name right? It was the Hawthorne experiment I think right where the employees when being watched productivity soared because they felt hey someone was paying attention to them. I think that’s just to that as I recall from my college classes a long, long time ago.
Mark: Yeah exactly there is — the more we have interaction and this is one of the things that I will give my recommendation for the three tools you can set this up on a google doc but everyday if you have a google doc, let’s just say you create a word doc with a couple of columns or let’s say you have 10 employees so you create a google doc with 10 columns, 11 columns actually you and then each employee gets the column and everyday every employee goes through and they just type into their particular column what their top priorities are to the day. What are the things that they have to accomplish today that they have to work on, and then you write your big accomplishment. The things you have to accomplish the day that was in your column, so you at least got a list of five, ten items that are your top priorities for the day. Throughout the day you can actually pop into that doc and actually keep it open all day and watch people as they check things off their list. Do they add new things to their list? Do they cross things out on their list? You can launch and edit it real-time.
Jason Hartman: And see that’s on a spreadsheet, on a google spreadsheet right?
Mark: Yes or the google out of the spreadsheet or the dock either one it works fine. And what it does it creates a sense of transparency you know what everyone on the team all ten of us myself included, me as the manager all of us are going to have access to each others to do. We are going to be able to see what the other person is working not and its first to become obvious pretty quickly who’s doing what work? Who is accomplishing thing? Who is left the same to do on their list for four days in a row now? Who hasn’t entered the google doc to make changes to it because you as the owner of the document can see who’s been in there to make corrections to make additions changes etcetera, and it just a wonderful way not only does it actually give you some visibility and to what people are doing, but it is also a symbol of transparency that says I am open. I am sharing with you what I am working on. I expect to share with me what you’re working on. We are all transparent here and even though we can’t necessarily physically see each other we can see what everybody else is doing and that’s how we are going to hold each other accountable.
Jason Hartman: There was an interesting article I just read the other day and when you talked about Rome with your rather unusual answer to my question which I thought was great. There was an article I saw the other day that talked about remote capitals government capitals I mean remote capitals and capitals that were in the thick of things like Washington DC that were right there, were people had access, and they talked about and compared which ones were likely to be more corrupt or less corrupt, and it was kind of counter-intuitive because the of the first thought was that a government capital that is in the thick of things where everybody has easy access to it you know means that all the lobbyists and the special interests which tend to be somewhat corrupt if not completely corrupt but that’s a political debate maybe. They would corrupt the politicians more because they had easy access to them, and it turns out that with the opposite was actually true that the more distant capitals were more corrupt because people couldn’t keep an eye on things. The media wasn’t there. The media unit wasn’t being the watchdog as much as they would in a capital that’s easily accessible, and it that kind of applies to your example of Rome, and the remote or the co-located in-house employees I think that’s a interesting really.
Mark: And you know it absolutely is. There is — as much as we go the remote and the off shoring and all of that has become the movement the reality is that lots of companies actually taking work back in country again, and it’s for many of these reasons it is — as competition increases the costs that we typically think of competition decreasing the cost but what has happened is that their workforces let’s say for example in India, they grow, they develop, they start getting on the world stage. Now, it’s not unusual to find Chinese companies for example outsourcing to companies in the Philippines and so it — what goes around comes around and so what ends up happening then as we find out there you know there were actually advantages to having this stuff be close to us. There were advantages to doing it that way and so you start to see companies move it back in again, and to bit by bit we come to find that there is really a balance. There is something to be said for having control and have being able to keep an eye on what’s really going on and sometimes disability makes a difference and in fact know it’s generally becoming acknowledged now that if you are going to have somebody who is really vested in helping the organization achieve something that is we don’t just want them to no create this illustration or create this little segment of code that actually help us innovate and start thinking about this. Well, in both cases generally speaking there has to be some phase time at some point that no matter how remote they are you can get stuff off your plate, the stuff that is really not terribly important, and send it overseas but if you are going to have somebody help you innovate your next big product at some point we’re going to need a relationship with them so we can build enough of the bond that we can start to anticipate each others thoughts and that is easier to create face-to-face then there is remote way.
Jason Hartman: Sure it is yeah. Hey last question for you. What has changed about remote employees in the past you know you said it sort of got into full swing about 10 years ago, what has changed in those 10 years?
Mark: One of the big changes is then we have technology that enables more frequency of communication. It’s become — if not without hiccups to be sure but we’ve created more technologies that have tried to create a co-located feel and it’s interesting when you take a look at what are all the major advancements. Well, they all had to do with video and look alike Cisco’s TelePresence and things like that is they’re all trying to create a co-located feel while still having distances across so its way in today’s remote world we don’t have to be completely out of touch with each other and that’s why the technology is moved in the direction its moved in. Even something like Facebook is all about encouraging people to spend time on the site and have frequent communications back and forth that is, that’s the essence of it, and that’s been the really, the real big change is that it’s not just your remote. Now, I don’t have to think about you. You don’t think about me is now that’s remote is more we are separated by distance, but we still want the communication be frequent and regular and look I can still see you even.
Jason Hartman: Fantastic. Well, Mark Murphy give out your website and tell people where they can get the book as well.
Mark: The website is leadershipiq.com. And we’ve got a number of studies and articles and whitepapers and what not on the site that are all there for three and the book is available on Amazon, its available at Barnes & Noble basically anywhere and everywhere.
Jason Hartman: Fantastic Mark Murphy Leadership IQ thank you so much for joining us today.
Mark: Thanks for having me. This is great fun.
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The Speaking of Wealth Team
Transcribed by: Renee’