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Incentives and Forcing Functions for Pull Communication 👮 - Issue #6

How Remote Works
Incentives and Forcing Functions for Pull Communication 👮 - Issue #6
By How Remote Works • Issue #6 • View online
Hi everyone,
Welcome to the sixth bi-weekly newsletter about remote work.

How To Implement Pull Communication
After last week’s issue, one of the readers had the following question about the Pull Communication framework👇
The people want to know 😳
The people want to know 😳
I’ll break this into the following questions:
  1. How to scale Pull Communication?
  2. How to incentivize your team to pull information?
(also, since Revue doesn’t have a horizontal divider element, I’ll start doing this to split sections 👇)
#1: How to Scale Pull Communication?
This one is more straightforward to answer.
IF you want to scale pull communication THEN you need a Single-Source-of-Truth (SSoT).
As discussed in a previous issue, the SSoT ensures that information is accurate and up-to-date.
The emphasis of this concept is on the word single
If you have more than one instance of a documentation the following can happen:
Duplication: There will eventually be more than one version of the information (guidelines_1.docx // guidelines_1.1.docx // [MASTER]Guidelines_Company.docx)
Multiple “Truths”: Duplication leads to uncertainty. Which documentation is the correct one?
Waste and Errors: In a best-case scenario your team will waste time and effort. In a worst-case scenario your team will make errors based on incorrect information.
Therefore, it is important to pick one location for your information and use it consistently.
Here are a few implementation ideas:
  • Handbooks: Use a product like Github, GitLab, or GitBook to allow for the state-of-the-art change request process.
  • Wikis & Team Spaces: Use a product like Confluence, Notion, or Slab to manage a dedicated knowledge space. The only difference to the handbook examples from above is that you can’t really manage change requests (which might not be relevant for your organization at this stage).
In order for your SSoT to scale, it needs to check the following boxes:
  • 🔑 Access: Team members need to be able to access information.
  • 🔎 Search: Internal search becomes more important as the scope of the knowledge repository grows.
  • 🔐 User Rights: You need a way to have editors and viewers. In the beginning, it would be sufficient to give editor rights to department heads who would own their own sections of the SSoT.
With these points in mind, you should be able to scale a v1.0 of your internal knowledge repository.
#2: How to Incentivize Your Team to Pull Information?
I have to drop my favorite quote again 👇
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
Just because you want it to work for your team doesn’t mean that you will be able to change habits and ways of working.
Culture change requires [intentional effort * repetition * time]. It takes a while.
Here are a couple of ideas - ranging from soft to hard - that can steer your team to adhere to pull communication:
  1. 🧑‍🏫 Training: Be transparent about the change in SOPs (standard operating procedures), explain the reasoning and the benefits, and set clear expectations.
  2. 🖋 Executive Buy-In: All change has to start at the top. If employees see that execs/top management are not adhering to the set policies, then they won’t either. Lead by example.
  3. 🔗 Answering by Link: The main idea of the handbook first methodology is that you document first, and communicate second. If you get a question, don’t answer one-off, but document it and share the link to the documentation.
  4. Chat Tools Strictly for Informal Communication: No more info requests via Slack. Slack is exclusively reserved for catch-up and personal communication. Everything else needs to be documented in your SSoT 📒
  5. 🗑 Expire Slack/Teams Messages After 90 Days: This here is a forcing function. It forces the team by design to document the most important aspects of work in the SSoT instead of communicating it via chat tools. That way the SSoT will hold the most accurate information over time and will incentivize people to pull information from there first.
Ginelle, I hope this answers your questions.
Remote Impact: Employment & Energy
I’m browsing Twitter regularly.
Here are two recent tweets that are worth mentioning:
Impact of Remote on Governmental Talent
Alexandra DM
I have officially resigned from city government following @NYCMayor ’s abrupt five-day on site policy. It does not reflect pandemic reality or respect the successful hybrid work city employees have accomplished over the past 18 months. Wishing those who cannot leave strength.
We tend to think that the shift in work preferences only applies to the private economy but of course it is also true for the public sector.
A couple of thoughts:
  • 🐌 Pace of Transition: If Fortune500 is having a hard time transitioning, then think of what must be going on in all the municipal/city/state/federal government agencies 🤯
  • 🧫 Opportunity: It feels like this will open an entirely new opportunity space for tooling & solutions with government-grade compliance/security/etc. (if you know of someone building in this space, let me know 🤔)
The Green Revolution that No-One Is Talking About ♻️
Christopher Mims
the pandemic so completely obliterated traffic jams that the amount of fuel Americans wasted in them was cut in half in a single year --

A savings of 1.7 *billion* gallons of fuel
This chart tells me that in 2020 excess fuel by light-duty vehicles dropped in half. That’s quite significant.
My question to you: Did your commute routine change or is it back to normal?
Thanks for reading this issue 🙏
Please let me know if you have any topics that you would like to be covered in the coming weeks.
Onwards and upwards,
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