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Push vs. Pull Communication 🤜 - Issue #2

How Remote Works
Push vs. Pull Communication 🤜 - Issue #2
By How Remote Works • Issue #2 • View online
Hi everyone,
welcome to the second issue of our bi-weekly newsletter about remote work.
Today I’ll share two frameworks which pack the biggest bang for the buck:
  1. Push vs. Pull Communication
  2. SSoT (Single-Source-of-Truth)
Let’s do it 👏

Push vs. Pull Communication 🤜
Here are three statements:
  • Information: Critical knowledge is exclusively in the manager’s head or notes
  • Input: Ways of working require the manager to give input on every step of the workflow
  • Decisions: Final decisions (👍 or 👎) always land on the manager’s desk
What does this scream?
As managers we should avoid creating bottlenecks since they result in a variety of second and third order effects:
  1. Lack of Empowerment: Team members don’t develop the capacity to execute without supervision
  2. Long Turnaround Times: Turnaround times for info sharing, input, and decision increases as the organization grows
  3. Organizational Risk: Increased risk of brain drain due to managers leaving the organization
No bueno.
Popping the Bottleneck 🍾
An easy way to unlock your team’s productivity is to think in terms of push and pull communication 👇
Push (= variable effort) vs. Pull (= fixed effort)
Push (= variable effort) vs. Pull (= fixed effort)
Push Communication: Subject-Matter-Expert (SME) First 🧐
Push communication describes the bottleneck scenario from above.
  • Variable Effort: Each communication requires the SME to put in work
  • Multi-Player: Team members ask. SME responds. We need the effort of two people.
Pull Communication: Documentation First 📒
Pull communication is a best practice among remote-first companies.
  • Fixed Effort: The creation of the documentation requires effort. Afterwards the documentation scales without variable effort.
  • Single-Player: Team member has a question. Team member can access documentation. Only needs effort from one person.
If you want to unblock your team members, think how to shift more and more information to a pull communication mode.
⚡️ Important: It is not enough to send an email to the team and say “we will use pull communication going forward”. As with any change, it requires cultural adjustment (read: new standard operating procedures -> new habits etc.)
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
SSoT: Single-Source-of-Truth 📒
If your team pulls information as needed, you better make sure that the information is accurate.
Pull communication does not work without a SSoT.
Let’s have a look how Dropbox defines SSoT:
The single source of truth (SSOT) is a term given to the practice of bringing all business data to a single location. The idea is that everyone in that company can then make crucial business decisions based on mutually accessible data. That means there are no work silos keeping people from knowing important information.
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.
Bottomline: There’s a reason it’s called a Single-Source-of-Truth
The 80/20 of Remote Team Leadership: Pre-Sale Discounts
I am currently working on creating our first email-based course.
What is this all about?
  • What: Teach the highest-leverage skill of remote team leadership: Documentation 📒
  • Why: Micro-management sucks. Empowerment rocks 🤘
  • How: 20+ emails delivered into the inbox which will (a) take the learner through all the fundamental ideas and (b) will show how to create a SSoT for their own use
  • For Whom: Leaders of remote teams
I will open pre-orders for this course later this week.
If you want to benefit from the early-bird discount, sign up here 👇
The 80/20 of Remote Team Leadership 🏝
Thanks for reading this issue 🙏
Let me know if you have any feedback, suggestions, or critique.
Onwards and upwards.
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