The Sydney Morning Herald today carried this article by Julia Talevski, in which she quoted from an interview with Carolyn Evans, Managing Director of ThinkEvans.
The article also carried this image of Carolyn having a coffee meeting with ThinkEvans Principal Consultant Tanya van der Wall at Coogee beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
The full article is available online from the Sydney Morning Herald.
Carolyn Evans can tell you where all the good coffee places are in Sydney, Adelaide and Auckland but she’s not a barista.
She runs her own management consultancy, called ThinkEvans. She has no office presence or fixed-line phones but finds her clients are often more comfortable to meet in a cafe to discuss projects and growth plans. Evans relies on her mobile phone and notebook to run her business. Her notebook runs Skype and has a mobile broadband connection. Other ThinkEvans employees have similar configurations on their devices.
“We have employees based overseas as well, so having things like Skype is really important to us,” Evans says. “We also use online software packages to do things like a research survey.”
ThinkEvans attracts a variety of clients, from large government departments to not-for-profit organisations and small businesses.
The company has been running as a completely mobile environment since it took off in 2002. It has staff and employs various associates to work on particular projects.
“I have met all the staff through my travels but not every member of the team has met each other face-to-face. They have only met online,” she says.
Evans stresses they all had to develop good work practices around conducting telephone and Skype meetings. “It’s not easy to have a meeting over the phone,” Evans says. “It does require a particular skills set.”
Two main reasons why Evans wanted to run her business on-the-fly was she didn’t want the financial overheads of an office or to be bound to a desk and chair.
“We wanted to have a life,” she says. “It’s more important for us to do the work rather than spend time travelling to an office and talking about doing the work.”
Evans says she spends most of her time at client meetings and thought it was pointless to have an office space to sit in.
But sometimes, she admits, she does need to have more formal sessions that take longer than a cup of coffee and has conducted board meetings in her clients’ space.
Evans points out companies going down the mobile path need to be disciplined about minimising the amount of paper in the organisation, backing the notebook up and archiving important files.Julia Talevski, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 October 2009