Earlyer this month our very first Seattle based client, Milkana Brace an entrepreneur, angel investor and start-up adviser payed a visit to our Macedonian office. It was great pleasure having her here for almost two full weeks and collaborate on the exciting education technology project, she is working on.
The importance of empathetic leadership
One could feel Milkana’s significant experience in the tech industry and management of teams through the working process. The fact that she has become Senior Director twice in her career already speaks for itself.
Staying thoroughly empathetic, understanding the problems the development team encounters and helping us progress with ideas and flexibility made her a priceless consultant. The team was totally inspired working with a knowledgeable leader that not only requires, but also gives. The results are on their way.
The old school approach of sending the requirements and fixing the deadlines simply doesn’t work when creative work has to be done. Work where the value is not the quantity, but the quality.
Choosing the right technology
Those of you, involved with software development for sure know what “an obsolete technology” means for the performance of the platforms and motivation of the teams.
The project is a Xamarin mobile application. It is a technology we started investing in since the beginning of this year, because we believe that it is going to become the byword for mobile development in the coming years. Obviously we are not the only company that believes in the technology, since in February 2016 Microsoft acquired them.
Live communication in times of virtual reality
Another thing that was done right: we have met and worked together live.
The internet tools we all use today: documents with shared editing rights, chat platforms, design sharing platforms, facilitate the distant collaboration and this is unbelievable, making us location and time free. At this very moment I am collaborating with people in the office in a few tabs of my browser open. It happens that I work all day with somebody, here in the office and not to meet her at all. It would have been hardly possible to be in Skopje and work on a project in Seattle if the state of global communication was not at this level.
For the past 10 years, I have been constantly seeing titles like “How to avoid unproductive meetings” written from people annoyed by the corporate culture and structures and “live spam”. It was so cool to hate meetings that it became a trend (at least in my business environment). One could easily slip and start to hate meetings in general.
The truth is, online you would never benefit of the energy exchange when people meet and share ideas live. The non-verbal stream of communication carries so much information that cannot be transmitted digitally. One look, one smile, one sigh can totally change the direction of the thoughts and ideas. The small talks in the kitchen and at lunch also do impact the direction taken, and I am sure in a positive manner. The sterility of online communication keeps things clear when in pure production mode, but if inventing and shaping the idea itself it is better to go live.
To sum up, the value added at the price of the travel cost is definitely a good investment.