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  • feedwordpress 16:40:50 on 2018/10/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Ideas   

    The Importance of Meeting In-Person 


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    I recently returned from Orlando where Automattic hosted its annual Grand Meetup where nearly all of our 800 employees from around the world, spend a week together in the same place. (And yes, we’re hiring.)

    Despite being a fully distributed company, I believe it’s still important to meet face-to-face — just not every day, in the same office. The Grand Meetup is our chance to get to know the people behind the Slack avatars and build relationships that can carry us through through other 51 weeks of the year, when we’re working from more than 65 countries. It’s so much easier to hear the nuance in someone’s chat messages or p2 posts if you’ve hung out with them at Harry Potter World, or learned about their family, pets, and hobbies during a flash talk.

    Photo by Paul Jacobson

    The week can be mentally exhausting, given that you’re often meeting many people for the first time. But we urge people to take it at their own pace, and the results are well worth the effort. Our data team actually studied the impact of the Grand Meetup on our work relationships — the connections established between coworkers using our “Meetamattician” tool were demonstrably closer after the meetup:

    Before the Grand Meetup.
    After the Grand Meetup.

    This year we were proud to welcome some incredible keynote speakers: Wild author Cheryl Strayed talking about creativity and writing; Automattic board member Gen. Ann Dunwoody, the first woman in U.S. Army history to achieve the four-star officer rank; Ari Meisel on delegating and automating your life; and Dan Harris, author of 10% Happier, on the panic attack that led him to embrace meditation and mindfulness.

    Instagram Photo
    Photo by Leif Singer
    Ann Dunwoody. Photo by Luca Sartoni
    Ari Meisel. Photo by Luca Sartoni
    Instagram Photo
    Photo by jessicacg
     
  • feedwordpress 16:32:01 on 2013/11/30 Permalink
    Tags: Ideas   

    The Value of Suffering 


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    I once met a Zen-trained painter in Japan, in his 90s, who told me that suffering is a privilege, it moves us toward thinking about essential things and shakes us out of shortsighted complacency; when he was a boy, he said, it was believed you should pay for suffering, it proves such a hidden blessing.

    Yet none of that begins to apply to a child gassed to death (or born with AIDS or hit by a “limited strike”). Philosophy cannot cure a toothache, and the person who starts going on about its long-term benefits may induce a headache, too.

    Pico Iyer in the New York Times on The Value of Suffering. Hat tip: Evelyn Rusli.

     
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