WIP Research

Effective Remote Teams

  1. Why remote
    • It's the future of work
    • Obvious things:
      • No rent!
      • Huge talent pool for hiring
    • Can change relationship with work in major ways. If you're thoughtful in the boundaries, guidelines and processes set up - the change can be a huge positive for autonomous, self-accountable people. If run like an in-person team, it can be always-on, anxiety-inducing.
      • Changing schedules (like Best Buy work experiment)
  2. Remote challenges
    • Requires dedicated focus to build empathy across team
    • Work as social outlet doesn't come as naturally for remote teams
    • Need to iterate on process, especially at growth milestones
    • Communication, if treated like an in-person company, can be all-consuming and painful.
  3. A shift in communication
    • Discussions in public, summary
    • Thoughtful organization of conversations
    • Discipline

Rethinking Governance

Private organizations, whether corporate or non-profit, are at their core systems of governance.

{^Namasté Solar} has five levels of democratic decision-making: individual co-owner (i.e. individuals can make their own decisions based on proven competencies), peer review, committees or teams, the entire company, and board of directors. The board of directors only gets involved on the rare occasion that an issue can’t be resolved in the first four levels. In a bold attempt at fairness, Namasté also makes sure that no employee earns more than twice what any other employee earns.

From their site:

On January 1, 2011, Namasté Solar became an Employee-Owned Cooperative. Our intention is to share the entire experience of small business ownership; not just rewards (profits) and control, but also risks (losses) and responsibilities, regardless of job role or title. We firmly believe this business model translates to better designs, installations, and customer experiences. As co-owners of the company, we all bring an ownership mentality to everything we do, as well as a level of personal accountability that our customers find refreshing in the world of contracting.

Learning from government

Types of governance by power structure

Anarchy
A structure which strives for non-hierarchical, voluntary associations among agents.
Confederation
A union of governments. A meta-power structure, where each participant remains sovereign.
Unitary State
A central power that has full control and power. Any sub-entities exercise only those powers granted to it by the central power.
Federation
A union of partially self-governing states controlled under a federal entity. This structure is usually constitutionally entrenched such that neither the federal entity nor the states may alter the balance of governance.

Types of governance by power source

Autocracy
Absolute rule by one person or polity (a collective political identity) with no limits on power or reach.
Democracy
Rule of the people (or rule of the majority). Members exercise power directly or through elected representation.
Oligarchy
Rule of the few, decided by some status, relationship or wealth.
Demarchy
Democracy, but where decisions are made by a random sample of the populace, similar to a jury in modern justice systems. Demarchy combats special-interest corruption of democracy, as well as widespread passive participation.
Direct-democracy
Another version of democracy where participants vote on all new laws and policy directly.