Before this past week, I had never been overseas, much less London. As part of what we called the Eur-Uptime tour, a large group of Dyners took the overnight flight to jolly ol’ England for several events like Velocity Europe, the Ecommerce Expo and WebPerfDays at Facebook London.
This was the first opportunity that many of our team had to interact with our EMEA team. Launched in the summer of 2011, our Brighton based office started with just one person but soon grew with some key hires, big client wins and a little bit of luck. I’ve got to know a few of the team over there fairly well, but this was my chance to be immersed in their culture, daily lives and how they get things done.
As I write this on the seven-hour flight back, I am left with one key takeaway: the EMEA team has truly grown and matured, a stronger unit than ever before and a key part of what we need to really kick IaaS globally in the future.
Without going into employee by employee detail, one of their greatest strengths is their camaraderie. A close-knit group of nearly ten, the group plays off each other and drives off each other to great success.
Mainly sales and concierge support, we’re already looking for an EMEA Marketing Manager, Ecommerce support and a Business Development Manager – a testament to our dedication to growing our operations there.
The other key takeaway: they know the region way better than we do. That may seem like a duh statement but one area we have had to improve on is trust, something that is hard to gain when there’s a five hour difference between you and without any daily face time.
As a content guy, it is easy (and somewhat naive) for me to think all my content is perfect for a worldwide audience but that isn’t true. Our new Marketing Manager will be able to help give perspective in ways I can’t because I am not from there and vice versa. That also goes for sales and support. How we communicate here in the U.S. is markedly different than in the U.K. and while it’s important for us to provide guidance on how and why we do things, there has to be some room allowed for them to do it their own way.
Again, that trust word comes up again. Thankfully, it’s a company philosophy of ours to have faith in each other, up and down the ladder. Micromanaging, regardless of location, brings productivity, personal growth and morale to a grinding halt. As long as the results are what we expect and are achieved with our lofty standards in mind, everyone wins.
The day is coming when the EMEA team is going to be known for much bigger things and it’s pretty cool to see this level of progress in just a few short years. There was a time when we opened our UK office and people said, “Why did you do that?” Now, it’s more like, “Why did you wait so long?”