Global, distributed teams are everywhere. Companies expand beyond their home country to grow their business and/or find talent. Pretty soon you are managing a global team and your managers are all over the globe. How do you cope? How do you scale yourself and your team? How do you keep in touch?
The main casualty in distributed teams is the decreasing speed of information transfer. When you are all in the same office, you chit chat and share information informally. You build relationships that begin with spontaneous unplanned conversations. You can reduce some of the information lag by written asynchronous communication (slack/email) but nothing comes close to being in the same space.
But you can bridge this gap and manufacture spontaneity. You need a ritual, a thing that you do everyday that connects you with your distributed management team. Enter the 15-minute daily catch up. 15 minutes a day just spent on passing information between each other, talking about the exciting/painful things that happened during the course of the day/last day. You can solve issues in near real-time, you also start to build a great working relationship, its like you are in the same office! This doesn’t replace the 1×1 that you have with your direct reports. This sync is more about management team cohesion and building a great team working rapport rather than the individual 1×1 relationship.
15 minutes is all it takes. A simple sync up, every day, try it, it works wonders!
*caveat: only works with small teams with 4-5 members. Typically management teams shouldn’t be bigger than this number anyway.