朝邦文教基金會 CP Yen Foundation

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2020 6月朝邦對話新訊息夏季刊 - 從組織文化、對話模式落實敏捷上線 | 2020 CP Yen Foundation Summer Newsletter - Enhance online Agility through corporate culture and dialogues - How Titansoft Brings Efficiency to Online Meetings

2020 年 6 月 朝邦對話新訊息夏季刊
從組織文化、對話模式落實敏捷上線

採訪 整理: 朝邦文教基金會
 
新冠肺炎疫情衝擊許多企業運作常規,其中,實體會議也被迫轉成線上會議。
,大家是否越來越熟悉線上會議的運作模式?有哪些會議型態非常適合線上會議,但哪些類型卻不適合?企業裡有哪些員工在實體會議與線上會議判若兩人?哪些因素幫助了線上會議更有效率以及更能激發與會者踴躍參與?
疫情總有一天會結束,但線上會議將會進一步成為現代人的工作常態,如何主持或是參與線上會議,將成為辦公室新顯學。
 
本期”朝邦對話新訊息”特別來採訪跨國軟體開發公司-新加坡商《鈦坦科技》
總經理李境展以及他的團隊,了解科技公司如何從組織文化、對話模式落實敏捷上線,體驗線上會議新顯學。
 
「敏捷開發」建立坦率又靈活的工作環境
 
「在家工作放大許多雜訊!」新加坡商《鈦坦科技》總經理李境展表示,《鈦坦科技》是一間總部位於新加坡的軟體開發公司,對於跨國線上會議其實早已不陌生,公司採用敏捷開發(Agile Software Development),同時將敏捷思維(Agile Mindset)注入公司組織文化,能夠快速、靈活地應對客戶和市場需求變化。
 
然而,一家跨國軟體開發公司受到疫情衝擊,面臨的問題層面甚廣,有的部門減班、有的部門加班,有的地區居家工作、而有的地區則是彈性選擇上班方式,他們如何敏捷應變各種變化?如何建立有效果的線上會議模式?
資訊透明是鈦坦科技長期致力的企業組織文化,開會時不會以長官的言論馬首是瞻,也從來不崇尚「官大學問大」的教條,鼓勵員工表達想法,甚至挑戰權威都可以;同時在企業內部推行多年,資深同仁刻意不優先發言,以免造成議題錨定效應 (Anchor Effect),阻礙同仁表達多元意見的機會。
 
O-R-I-D焦點討論法」意見清楚表達‧對話有效流動
 
怕發表意見可能面臨秋後算帳嗎?其實,針對意見內容本身不會有此顧慮,但如果表達意見的過程不遵照「O-R-I-D焦點討論法」,可能就會被同事「電」爆。特別是在會議中,依循「O-R-I-D焦點討論法」的表達意見模式,讓彼此對話有效流動。
 
當開會時只要說:「請講O」,大家都有默契地知道O的意思是Objective,要先了解外在客觀事實,該事先收集的一手或二手資料得提早準備完成。
 
「R」代表是Reflective,喚起內心的情緒與感受,尤其是軟體開發產業,同仁之間意見豐富時,發生衝突的可能性相對提高,探尋內在感受而不離開討論主題更顯得相當重要。
 
緊接著「I」代表Interpretive,詮釋意義、價值、經驗。對不同的人而言,重要的意義與學習到的課題就會不同,但對於企業來說,這些更可能是下一個核心競爭力的開端。
 
也因為有了不同的詮釋與Open-mind討論,大家才能找出「D」-Decisional,找出決定與行動,探尋接下來的行動或是計劃將會是什麼。
這樣簡單又實用的提問架構,已成為每一位《鈦坦科技》同仁的共同語言,不因實體會議或是線上會議而有所不同。
 
善用「SNT語言」 提升線上會議效率
 
線上會議有許多有趣的現象,像是約定好時間大家都很準時上線,就算手邊正
好跟其他人利用文字討論中,也比較容易告知對方有線上會議需準時開會;在會議過程中,善用《鈦坦科技》自己發展出來的「SNT語言」,要精準(Specific)、要量化(Number)還要訂定時間(Time),這套說話標準不只用在員工,連主管下達指示也都要遵照SNT原則,不然只會被當作閒聊,是不會被排程處理的。
 
表達精準之外,李總經理還觀察到線上會議還有一特點,當三人以上同時說話就等於沒說,「大家都別想聽得清楚了!」因此會議主持人角色就變得非常重要,他有掌握分組討論、靜音與准許參與者進入會議室的權力,更在會議前要先提供與會者會議議程,並要求相關參與者事先準備好會議所需資料。
會議一開始時先確認上次會議所協議的進度,讓彼此獲得一致的訊息,會議結束後,行動負責人要用SNT的語言寫下會議記錄與行動項目及其目標,這才是完整有效率的線上會議。
 
「超前部署」的思維「開誠布公」的態度 
 
但敏捷應變突如其來的疫情,公司有許多重大決定必須透過線上會議佈達,也有許多團隊須透過線上會議,討論手上正在進行的軟體發開專案,面對各種不同需求的會議,以及員工家中各種不同的狀況,《鈦坦科技》採用「超前部署
」及「開誠布公」兩大策略。
首先,只要對員工居家工作有幫助的設備,都可以跟公司申請將它們搬回家
,公司也添購許多線上會議軟體的企業帳號,以因應未來公司各團隊的大小會議。
 
另外,針對剛報到的新人擔心可能對於公司文化不熟悉,會有文化衝擊的問題,因此暫停招募新人,並一個月訂定兩次公司大會,一個針對台灣地區,另一個針對國際各區域,尤其是對新加坡總部,由於兩地區的疫情與國家政策不太相同,因此分別召開之外,也同時同步讓所有員工了解目前狀況,並即時解答員工各種問題,包含是否減少端午節年節獎金、部分團隊無薪假問題、部分員工選擇此時離開公司等,即使在其他公司認為極為敏感的議題,《鈦坦科技》都選擇資訊透明公開,並勞資平等對話,共同協議對公司與個人最好的選擇。
 
公司內部還做意見調查,在滿分5分的情況下,針對公司即時溝通與回應員工各種問題,以及做決策時資訊公開透明,員工分別給公司4.48與4.38的高分(滿分為5分)。
 
線上互動有溫度 上線交流更緊密
 
居家遠端工作的同仁依然可以透過線上互動交流,無縫接軌掌握全新的資訊與學習。產品開發部門主管江致平指出:「清楚的視覺傳達變得更加重要!」在協同創作前讓大家先寫下意見,讓意見激盪出更多想法,尤其在打字溝通的時候,同仁會有更多的時間檢查自己程式不完整的部分,許多細節是坐在電腦前更能看見端倪。甚至因孩子或寵物的意外入鏡,讓同仁日常生活的更多小細節被互相看見,反而增加了彼此的熟悉感,甚至讓團隊間的關係變得更加緊密。
善用科技的公司,也可以很有溫度,公關經理林依瑩分享同仁在家上班的有趣經驗,大家為了營造一起上班的感覺,使用「Discord軟體」,感受彼此一起工作的氣氛,除了聽覺在一起之外,還可以,相約在同一個時間點,一起視訊吃一樣的點心喝一樣的飲料,讓味覺也能透過網路視訊互相串連,在非常時期充分展現向心力,讓居家工作時也能維持既有的工作節奏。
 
保持「正念」以應對疫情的變數
 
李總經理表示,「在家工作放大許多雜訊,平常工作習慣不好的會更不好,平常開會就是不及格的,線上開會也不會太順暢!」面對面的會議還是屬於高品質的對話模式。《鈦坦科技》雖然是科技公司,但遊戲產品最講求人性,開會時,常使用紙與筆,訴求「Low tech High touch 低科技高感觸」,雖然這是一間科技軟體開發公司,但還是喜歡用低科技、高人性的溝通工具,因此辦公室牆上的各團隊工作看板上,常常都是貼滿了用筆寫的便條紙和索引卡,列出各項功能需求和開發進度,就算紙不見了也沒有關係,「代表這件事一點都不重要,因為重要的訊息都會有人關照著」。
 
疫情衝擊許多企業常規,不同行業未來還會有許多不同的變數,永遠會有更多新事物衝擊著企業與個人,李總經理建議,面對未來變數,與其煩惱未來災難發生該怎麼辦,不如帶著正念,執行當下該做的事情,煩惱太多也沒有用。在任務導向的物聯網時代,已經不分實體與線上,也不分公司與家中,也不分平日與六日,認真看到自己應該去做什麼事,才是這時代該做的事情。
而《鈦坦科技》在推動組織平等對話的文化上,就是認為最該做的事情,這讓無論是在家工作,或線上會議,都能達到高度成效。
 
 
*新加坡商《鈦坦科技》為『2019 對話影響力』銅牌獎得主
** 2020 對話影響力徵件開始,截止日7月26日。報名網址:
http://cp-yen.ning.com/profiles/blogs/2020-dialogue-impact-award-dia

CP Yen Foundation Dialogue Newsletter,
Summer Issue 2020 June


Enhance online Agility through corporate culture and dialogues -
How Titansoft Brings Efficiency to Online Meetings

Interviewed and written by CP Yen Foundation 


COVID-19 has changed the game rules for business. For one,  meetings have to be held online. So, are you fully skilled with the various applications for online meetings? What kind of meetings work virtually, and what not? Do you find some colleagues showing totally different personalities in virtual meetings in compared to  in person meetings? How can we organize more efficient online meetings with more participation?
The pandemic will end one day, but online meetings will stay for sure and become a part of our working routine. How to host and participate in virtual meetings will be a skill we all must be equipped with.
 
In the latest issue of our newsletter, we had a zoom meeting  with Tomas Li, General Manager at Titansoft and his team to see how high tech companies adapt to online meetings.
 
Titansoft strives to build a candid straightforward and agile work place 
 
“There is just too much distraction working at home,” stated Tomas Li, General Manager at Titansoft. Headquartered in Singapore, the software development company is no stranger to global online meetings. Its Agile Software Development incorporates Agile Mindset to the company culture so it can respond to customers and market needs with agility.
 
Still, in face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Titansoft faces multiple issues. Some functions have to cut down work hours while others need to work overtime. Colleagues in some regions have to work at home while others can work at flexible hours. How does Titansoft adapt to these changes? How does it organize effective online meetings?
Transparency is one of the core values Titansoft identifies closely with. Meetings are open and communicative, always encouraging feedbacks and challenging discussions. There is also an unwritten rule: senior staff purposefully refrain from sharing their thoughts first to prevent anchor effect - blocking out open discussions and exchange of diverse viewpoints. 
 
ORID Focused Conversation Method helps clear communication and promotes Effective conversation 
 
Worried that whatever you say in the meeting comes back to haunt you later? Well, issues are often straightforward, but if you don’t explore the issues in  the ORID order to probe deeper, things can backfire unexpectedly. Using O-R-I-D focused conversation method really helps to better communicate and dialogue more effectively.
So, whenever we are in the meetings, we only have to say “let’s do O”, and we all know it’s Objective. We would first try to understand the objective facts by gathering first-hand or other relevant data in advance. 
 
R is reflective - the inner emotions and feelings on the issues. Conflicts can occur in heavy discussions for the software development industry. That is why it’s particularly important to let the emotions surface while staying on course of the issues.
 
I is Interpretive - interpreting meaning, value, and experience. These tend to vary for different people. And the learning for them differ as well. On the business side, these meaning and learning may point to the beginning of the next core competitive edge.
 
Through the different interpretations and open-minded discussions, everyone is able to reach D - decisional - the decisions and actions to follow, the plan.
The practical and easy method has already become the common language for all the colleagues at Titansoft - whether for virtual or in person meetings.
 
SNT guideline further enhances efficiency 
 
Interestingly, people seem to be able to report to online meetings in a timely manner, as compared to traditional meetings. Even if colleagues are still working on other tasks, it’s easier to alert them about the scheduled meetings. Titansoft has developed the SNT wording guidelines for communication - be Specific, use Numbers, and follow Time lines. The guidelines, applicable to executives as well as staffs, make sure these meetings are productive rather than being dominated by small talks.
 
Tomas also discovers the importance of the meeting facilitator. If too many people speak at the same time, the message tends to be lost in the noise. The facilitator must monitor who gets to speak and who should stay muted. Thorough preparation ensures everyone has access to the agenda beforehand so relevant parties can provide the necessary information for the meeting.
When the meeting begins, it’s a good idea to check the progress from the previous meeting so everyone is on the same page about where things are. After meeting ends, the responsible person must record the meeting minute according to the SNT guideline, including specific action items and goals. This would be a thorough and efficient online meeting.  
 
A mindset of thorough preparation and open communication 
 
Facing the  COVID-19 pandemic, Titansoft realized it had to be agile. Major decisions must be communicated through online meetings. Numerous teams needed to work on their projects online. With all the varying needs and the diverse ways of working together, Titansoft decided on two key strategies: Thorough preparation and Open Communication.
For employees who work remotely at home, they can apply to take the necessary equipments home. The head office had allocated ample corporate accounts for online meeting softwares to ensure all the virtual meetings can be run smoothly.  
 
Also, considering newly recruited employees may not have time to adapt to the company culture in the special time, Titansoft decided to stop recruitment for the time being. Two company online meetings are scheduled each month. Since Taiwan is relatively unaffected by the pandemic, a special meeting is held for the Taiwan office. One other meeting is scheduled for other international regions. Titansoft believes in transparency in its communication. All the decisions are disclosed to all staff, including issues such as special holiday bonus, unpaid leave termination of employment and other issues that seem sensitive in other companies.
 
The company regularly conducts employee satisfaction survey to better communicate and respond to employee’s questions. With the open and transparent mindset taken by the company, employee’s satisfaction scores were as high as 4.48 and 4.38 with 5 being the highest. 
 
Closely knitted online community ensures enthusiastic communication
 
Employees working remotely can communicate with others through the closely knitted online community. They can access the latest information and learning seamlessly. Leo Chiang, the head of product development, pointed out: “Clear visual communication is more important than ever!” In the process of collaboration, all the participants brainstorm and write down their ideas. With everything written down, the textual communication allow everyone more opportunities to verify the details more closely. Unexpected glimpses of colleagues’ kids, pets, and everyday lives bring them closer. Technologies create these warm interactions. Cindy Lin, PR Manager, sometimes shares the fun stories of their colleagues who work at home.  To create a sense of working together, Titansoft also implements the Discord software. Now all the staff can plan on having the same drink, snack at a specific time together. It’s a gesture to bring everyone together to maintain the work rhythm at such a difficult time.
 
Face the uncertainty with positive mindset
 
Tomas cautions: “When you work at home, all the minor distractions tend to amplify. Some bad habits that are not acceptable at work place can get worse at home. These habits will hinder the results of the meetings.” Face-to-face meetings are of course optimal for quality. Titansoft, although a high-tech company, really wants to stay rooted to the human side and insists on “Low tech High touch” with hand-written post-it stickers and notes on all the office walls to mark on the status and needs.  “These reminders just reflect the fact that we are all paying attention to these details.”  
 
The pandemic has brought changes in the corporate practices. And for sure there will be many more changes to come that highly impact our lives. Instead of worrying about the unknown, Tomas encourages us to take a positive mindset and just keep going. In the current task-oriented era, regardless of off or on-line, work place or home, weekday or weekend, it's all about getting things done.
Titansosft focuses on promoting a culture of equal dialogues within the organisation. And it is determined to do it with high efficiency, be it through working at home or online meetings.  
 
*Titansoft, a Singapore-based company, was the recipient of Bronze Award  winner of CP Yen Foundation’s Dialogue Impact Award in 2019. 
 
** 2020 Dialogue Impact Award proposal registration:
http://cp-yen.ning.com/profiles/blogs/2020-dialogue-impact-award-dia
Deadline for proposal July 26, 2020

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