How do you successfully lead and manage a distributed team?

Clint Oram / November, 2017


Steven Schuurman, CEO and Co-Founder of Elastic shares key components to successfully implement distributed teams at the company.

Video Transcript

How do you successfully lead and manage a distributed team?

The question about the distributed organization, how you run that comes up pretty often these days. Especially, since it increases in complexity with Elastic right now. We have a lot of staff in the US, all over Europe and these days also all over Asia-Pacific. The way I look at it and the way, my management team, is working on making the whole distributed aspect work is by number one, doing as little as possible over the phone, doing as much as possible over video conference because you have this extra visual dimension to it which is much more personal.

The third aspect is to acknowledge that phone and video conference is still not the same thing as meeting face-to-face. We have a very explicit strategy in how do we make sure that everybody from every angle of the world still meets face-to-face with other folks from other parts. So that’s that acknowledging the requirement or the need for face-to-face contact.

The other part is that you have to be super flexible and realistic in making the distributed organization work for different cultures. I think that once you do that, you get together often enough face to face. It’ll work and it will actually work extremely well for your organization. You get to hire the greatest people regardless of where they are based.



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