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Your Stories Don’t Define You, How You Tell Them Will

Dec 31, 2019

John O’Duinn (pronounced Oh.Dinn) is an engineer, and he sees everything in life as a system. That means that with every problem he experiences or obstacle he needs to address, he sees it not as a stand-alone issue, but as part of something bigger. He understands how to dig into a problem by seeing it from a larger perspective, that a solution must address the overall health of a system, not just one small part of it.

This unique way of seeing things makes him really good at problem-solving, and made him exactly the right person to write about remote workers, what makes remote work appealing and beneficial, and how to make remote working effective. His book, Distributed Teams, dives deeply into the benefits of remote teams, and then gives step-by-step guidelines to make remote working a successful endeavor.

There is so much to consider when hiring people, building a business, and setting up for an intentional culture, and one of those decisions must be whether to require people to work in a specific physical office location. It’s not easy to create a culture of communication in terms of clear processes and rules, but it’s critical as a company grows beyond 4-6 people, whether you’re sharing an office or whether your team is distributed.

My biggest take-away from the book is the dramatic improvement in the diversity of workplaces when remote working is an option and well-planned and executed. There were so many interesting parts to this conversation with John, and I came away from it with a huge appreciation for that aspect of his book and our discussion. There is plenty of evidence to support the value of diverse workplaces in terms of innovation, productivity, problem-solving and the resulting bottom-line improvement. This conversation, plus John’s book, make an excellent case for increasing the opportunities for people to work remotely, on distributed teams.

Connect with John on LinkedIn, and I highly recommend you check out his book, Distributed Teams, whether you’re a remote worker, work from home, or simply want to improve your team’s communication and processes.