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By October 2, 2018 No Comments

How becoming a “remote employee” inspired the idea for Pintellect.

As a former corporate employee, I was most driven, motivated and engaged when I felt connected to the senior leaders and had the opportunity to learn from them. But as a remote employee, I felt disconnected.

 

The president of my former employer was a well-respected thought leader with over 25 years of industry experience. He would often share articles over email with the subject, “Great read, pls share” followed by the URL link. There was no context, no explanation. The email would be forwarded on as per his request. On one particular occasion, the article was a 45 minute read. My inbox was bursting with quadrant 1, urgent and important things to do but as the keen, up and coming manager that I was, I chose to read it, anyway. I wanted to know what the president read and found interesting.

Two weeks after this article was shared, we had a management offsite meeting, and the topic of this article came up. Two things became very evident:

1) Few people had bothered to read the article

2) The people who did read it, had very different interpretations of what to take from it.

The awkward, clunky group discussion that ensued gave me pause. I realized:

People are busy. They don’t have time to read “non-important” articles, no matter who shares it.
Context is key: Context turns information into insight, and insight into action. After taking the time to explain why he shared the article and how it was relevant, it made total sense to us all and it helped to align our team’s perspective on the work we were doing.
Reply-All conversations die before they start: we all love and hate email. Trying to share information and stimulate a reply-all group discussion on email leads to unretrievable, clunky threads that no one wants.
Linear feeds trample engagement: channels in Slack and Microsoft Teams often serve as graveyards of lost, unengaged shared content.

Through these realizations I was inspired to develop a solution. One that takes into account the best practices and behaviours that a more efficient team would have. A new etiquette, of sorts, when sharing articles and documents to your team:

Share the key highlights: some articles and reports can be distilled down to 1-2 key takeaways. Share an article by culling out and highlighting those key points.
Add context to the highlights: Your team has ingested the key takeaway, now help them digest it with context. Annotations allow for productive discussion threads on how this information relates to your team and their respective focuses.
@name mention key people: drive engagement by calling out strategic leaders to add their perspective and stimulate more transparent dialogue.
Make this content easy to find in the future: the ideas and insights from these collaborative threads are invaluable for future reference.

These ideas inspired Pintellect. More importantly, it shaped our vision to inspire and align employees through purposeful, social engagement.

Blog Article 2:
Adopting “Purposeful Social”

One of the highs

I was frustrated. As the keen, remote manager, I wanted more access to what the thought leaders were reading. And I wanted to know what, in those articles or reports they found interesting and why. For me, it wasn’t just about trying to feel smart about knowing what’s happening in the world. It’s about connecting what’s happening in the world as context for our organization’s priorities, quarterly focuses, and values. It’s about aligning our collective efforts in a common direction and using industry news and information as the context to help people understand what we’re doing and why. It’s about turning information into insights, and turning insights into action.

It’s about turning information into insights, and turning insights into action.

s a curious person, I’ve always learned best through observing and emulatio great people in the workplace.

For the first time in my career, I became the “remote employee”. I went from the comfort and connectedness of the HQ environment to waking up at 5am for the east coast conference calls in my living room. I went from collaborative, in-person strategy sessions in the boardrooms to exhausting conference calls where I felt hugely disconnected from the conversation, so to speak. The dynamic with my peers and senior leaders went from enjoyable, informal hallway banter to a one-sided, active lobby effort to try not to be entirely forgotten.

As a young, keen, up and coming manager, I was fully engaged to learn, drive results and get to the top. But this new “remote” workplace dynamic presented many challenges on how to get there. How do I do feel connected to my peers and senior leaders to learn from them and emulate them; how do I stay connected to the internal dialogue of how our industry and competitors are changing and evolving and how we must continually adapt our strategies; and most importantly, how do I then transfer this knowledge to my remote team and make them feel connected.

There was a very specific occasion that inspired my idea for Pintellect. At the time, the president of the company was a well-respected thought leader with over 25 years of industry experience. He would often share articles over email with the subject, “Great read, pls share” followed by the URL link. No context, no explanation. On this particular occasion, the article was a 45 minute read. My inbox was bursting with quadrant 1, urgent and important things to do but I was keen to read it, anyway.

Two weeks later, we had a management offsite meeting, and the topic of this article came up. Two things became very evident:

1) Few people bothered to read the article

2) The people who did read it, had different interpretations of what to take from it.

Really? The president shares an article and no one reads it? It made for a clunky, awkward discussion that impacted the momentum of the day. He quickly summarized the article and brought everyone up to speed while adding the context of how it was relevant to our business and the topic at hand.

I was frustrated. As the keen, remote manager, I wanted more access to what the thought leaders were reading. And I wanted to know what, in those articles or reports they found interesting and why. For me, it wasn’t just about trying to feel smart about knowing what’s happening in the world. It’s about connecting what’s happening in the world as context for our organization’s priorities, quarterly focuses, and values. It’s about aligning our collective efforts in a common direction and using industry news and information as the context to help people understand what we’re doing and why. It’s about turning information into insights, and turning insights into action.

It’s about turning information into insights, and turning insights into action.

These experiences inspired Pintellect and more importantly, our vision to inspire and align employees through purposeful, social engagement.

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