Blake Parkinson

One of the difficulties that I have encountered throughout my professional life managing work teams is the coordination of teams located in geographically distant places, what we could call “remote teams“. An example could be found in the management of European projects where a coordinator located in a country has to direct the implementation of a project (which may or may not have co-designed with its partners) with partners dispersed by the European “orography”. This is the most typical case where not only the distance is critical but the cultural differences (although the recommendations that I include can be perfectly applied to local computers, in the case of remote communication equipment is crucial)

In some occasions we may be able to choose our own team but in others we will have to accept people in the team that we do not know or have worked with previously that the relationship is complicated.

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It is not always easy to find the best tools to be productive in the management of your tasks and therefore of your time.

I have been for a long time testing different applications that would allow me to:

  1. Register any task (short or long duration) without having to spend a lot of time writing it, allowing me to show it on a calendar, assign it to a member of the team and prioritize it.
  2. To be able to record the time incurred in the task
  3. To be able to follow up on activities under a GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology or simply to eliminate them once finished because they did not interest me to maintain them.
  4. Integrate with my email to generate tasks from a specific email without having to open them on purpose for it
  5. That the combination of the tools is the cheapest possible.

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One of the topics that most interest usually generate between companies and work groups is productivity. In fact, it is one of the queries I most often receive in the management of the Science and Technology Park at the Universitat Jaume I.
How can I be more productive with my team? Are we talking about working harder or working smarter? (As Kevin Kruse said, “Work Smarter, not harder”). Spain is one of the countries with the lowest productivity per hour worked, however it is where more hours are worked (it seems that people confuse productivity with working every day 10 hours …). Some blogs mention an OBS Business School report that assures that in Spain 55% of the working time is unproductive and that 20% of the day produces material losses

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This summer I had the privilege of enjoying for a second time (after two years) a week in the Taizé Community (http://www.taize.fr) and, although the first time it was already shocking to immerse myself in its environment , this year’s experience was superb. On the first occasion we were in Olinda as a family since our little daughter had not yet turned 15 and this time, having crossed that barrier and having the two children in the youth team, we were able to attend as adults and to live other experiences of Coexistence and exchange of perspectives with other adults from different branches of Christianity (Catholics, Protestants, Lutherans, evangelists, …)

I will not go into that detail to get away from the subject of the post in addition to being quite personal.

Already on the first occasion I was pleasantly surprised to see the exquisite organization of the Taizé Brothers managing an environment such as the community of Taizé where more than 3000 pilgrims (with peaks of 7000 and valleys of 600) are received each week To give accommodation, food, offer activities for team work, knowledge workshops, etc. I tried to contact the Brother responsible for all the management but I was not lucky.
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A few months ago I had the opportunity to read an article written by David Whitford Inc in digital magazine in relation to a family of American entrepreneurs: the Walkers. Reading it impressed me a lot, so much so I decided to reflect on my blog about it. The article begins: “Bob Walker runs more than just a Business. It’s a Mission, a Christian Mission, but there’s no entry for spiritual assets on a balance sheet. In a World That feels increasingly secular, religious Where does the entrepreneur fit in?
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