How to avoid meetings
C2 | Tue 22 Jan | 3:50 p.m.–4:15 p.m.
Maia has worked on international radiofrequency safety standards, taught English to refugees, performed in the circus, and licked a lot of dinosaur bones, but she seems to be best known for creating the hipster map of Melbourne. When not invading the sanctity of fossils she works as a business analyst at ThoughtWorks, collaborating with international software teams to create everything from finance apps to digital tools for humanitarian medical NGOs.
Have a call instead of sending email, they said. It's better for communication, they said. What if everyone hates meetings, and the rooms are perpetually booked, and nobody understands your accent? How do you do that day in, day out with an international team across time zones and languages? How do you keep everyone engaged, make sure work doesn’t get siloed between sites, ensure everyone feels empowered to ask questions? What if one group doesn’t quite speak the common language, or isn’t up to speed on how to push back on work? How about resolving conflict, or translating professional contexts? This talk is the coalescing of years of experience working with many international teams in multiple countries. It will cover: successful and unsuccessful strategies for pulling together software teams across time and space; embracing the awkward; spotting conflicts before they escalate; translating context and taxonomy; and how to grow participation and collaboration. Most importantly, it will go through how to stealthily work yourself out of a job by teaching everyone else to do it.