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El blog de Mikel Niño
Industria 4.0, Big Data Analytics, emprendimiento digital y nuevos modelos de negocio

"NOMAD" teams: does a "MAD" team really need an office?

We've talked previously on this blog about the concept of "MAD" teams (Multidisciplinary + Autonomous + Distributed) as a teamwork paradigm that we will increasingly see around us, in the same extent to which the "entrepreneurial way" is being encouraged nowadays. In that blog entry I explained how this change of approach forces us to reconsider many of the rules followed in team management, even in basic aspects such as motivation or recognition... but going a step further we could also question the necessary (or perhaps not that necessary?) role played by a predetermined physical space as a shared workplace. That reflection led me to use a play on words to define the concept of "NOMAD" teams (No-Office Multidisciplinary Autonomous Distributed team).

The concept's evolution seemed like a logical step to take: as we already mentioned, the present socioeconomic context leads us to reconsider the cost model of the usual "business owner + hired employees" approach, and one of the main cost sources that could be affected by this revision is the diary toll from renting an office. If we consider a workplace not as an indispensable resource for every team that wants to undertake a shared project, but as any other resource in the sense of offering us some specific features and thus necessary or not depending on the task faced by the team, we could follow a more flexible strategy and set project's milestones in a shared physical workplace only when the project demands so and where it is more convenient (and not always in the same workplace, hence the "nomad" label).

This reflection is also supported by the appearance of initiatives such as "Office Optional Conference" (organized by the same team as the Lean Startup Conference), which aims at gathering and sharing knowledge and reflections on the idea of companies dispensing with a predetermined physical work environment. In the words of its promoters:
"Office Optional features speakers whose advice comes from working in distributed environments, along with an exhibit hall where you can try out the latest tools for project management, payroll and expense reporting, feedback and communication, virtual meetings, productivity, task management and more. The event is geared for people looking to share and learn approaches for working with colleagues who are not anywhere near you".

The doubt that comes to mind when revising the conference's goal is whether the theme will focus on proposals to organize working teams belonging to an already ongoing company, or it will go a step further and link the concept to the possibilities that offers to individual entrepreneurs who decide to join their abilities for specific projects. The good news are that, putting the conference's motto into practice, they announce that a livestream will be available -in much the same way they did during the Lean Startup Conference- to follow the program anywhere over the globe, so we'll also have the chance to clear that doubt from this side of the pond :-)

[Haz clic aquí para la versión en español de esta entrada]

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