Mike Hostetler is an entrepreneur and technologist. He’s passionate about open source, building great organizations and helping others succeed.
Why does the world need a work revolution? (In other words: the way we’re working isn’t working. Why not?)
Technology has fundamentally changed our work, but the way we organize that work and distribute the abundance that results is still stuck in the 20th century.
This mis-match of organizing work creates friction that results in lost productivity, a disengaged workforce and a mis-alignment of purpose between employers and employees.
Revolutionizing the way we organize work and distribute the value that results has the potential to usher in peace and prosperity unmatched in history.
How are you or your organization reinventing work in some way (big or small)?
We are a completely virtual organization where everyone works from their homes. We’ve accomplished this while building a culture where people build closer relationships with their co-workers then they did in a traditional office setting based off of our employee survey data.
Why do you do what you do?
I’m an entrepreneur at heart who loves learning and solving problems. After college, I jumped feet first into an enterprise software organization and quickly realized it was a monochrome environment that slowly sucked the souls out of the people who worked there.
I ultimately left that environment and after gaining experience in other industries, founded my own organization with the goal of creating a place that placed work into the correct context of our lives. I believe that our relationship with work is foundational to all other components of our lives and properly positioned, has tremendously potential to positively transform our society.
What kind of art (any kind) do you like and why? Any recommendations we should know about?
I am currently diving deep into classical music. I enjoy the musical and mathematical complexities of beautiful classical music coupled with a quicker tempo that brings in modern musical styles.
What is one specific thing your company does that makes your culture unique and/or different?
We train everyone to say good morning in our chat room to mimic the physical effect of someone walking into an office. We call this the office door effect and blogged about it on our site.
What is one discipline/industry totally different from your own that has inspired you? How does it impact your work?
I recently had the privilege of watching an artist team at the Tacoma Glass Museum re-create a sculpture from pure glass. The way the team worked together was just as amazing as the art they were creating. No words were exchanged, yet all five people remained perfectly in sync. It was beautiful.
What’s one tangible and concrete technique other organizations should use if they want to create a more human and/or meaningful place to work?
Equip and teach your entire organization the difference between Influence and Authority.
What is one surprising thing we should know about you?
I’m a survivor of the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century, Mt. Pinatubo in 1991. I was living with my family 40 miles from the volcano when it erupted. We made it back to the US two weeks after with only what we could carry.
How do you stay productive throughout your day?
- I heavily time-box and schedule my workday. Family is highly important to me, so I schedule about 45-48 hours of work a week and stick to that.
- I listen to music to keep in “the zone,” alternating between electronica, classical, and Irish folksongs.
- I dedicate time to structuring my life and work, from keeping a “life plan” down through how I structure my weeks. Success is a marathon, and structuring your habits is 80% of the battle.
What is “required reading” or “required viewing” for people who want to understand what makes you tick?
- Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED talk on Grit
- Simon Sinek’s TED talk: Start With Why
- Frederic Laloux’s Reinventing Organizations
Where in the world are you?