All teams must be built to be independent, having their own budget and management structure
In the beginning, we tried doing things like the most – to manage a global enterprise straight from Estonia, as a continuous string of Skype calls, e-mails and meetings. It was very strenuous. Luckily, we soon understood what was wrong – we had to give complete powers of decision to every country and trust the local team with everything. Instead, trust and budget became the main tools of management. Owing to that, we have achieved much greater growth and teams are happy as well because everyone is able to make their own decisions.
Communication tools need to be the best
Every team needs help to grow – enforce internal rules, business processes and ensure their fulfillment. Smart teams work independently as it is, they do not require daily intervention. It is even to be avoided, or people will feel disappointed. Definition of general goals is sufficient.
Inspired by the growth of our foreign offices, we started implementing a similar structure in Estonia. Our various offices, teams, and products are very self-sufficient. Everyone has its own budget, plan, and management. The general manager can only assist, but there is no need for micro-management.
Communication tools must be the best, comfortable, invisible and mobile. First, allow the team to choose suitable equipment for itself; we, for example, decided to replace Skype with Slack. The main reason was the opportunity to create individual rooms for different groups, i.e., people involved in a project are constantly kept up to date with fresh information.
The other reason was definitely security. For example, we use Google’s e-mail service, which ensured us right away with safe integration and password protection via text messages. It is essential in today’s world. Thirdly, there was an option to integrate external information channels and applications; for example, inquiries from our website visitors are forwarded directly to the sales team, who is able to respond in the same environment – comfortable and effective.