Recently, Douglas Ferguson, a former software developer turned CTO and founder of Voltage Control, took center stage on the "Remotely One" podcast, engaging in a delightful conversation guided by our hosts Rick Haney and Kaleem Clarkson. This engaging and insightful interview provides a glimpse into Douglas's experiences, detailing his journey from a tech background to becoming a renowned facilitator. The discussion delves deep into the challenges of facilitating remote meetings in large companies, offering valuable insights for seasoned facilitators and those new to the field.
The initial light banter around time zone differences expanded into a comprehensive exploration of various aspects of Douglas's career and expertise. Details about Douglas's educational background at Virginia Tech, his early career as a software developer, and his transition to becoming a CTO underscore his role as a mentor for Techstars and the creation of the Austin CTO Summit, showcasing the vibrant sense of community and support within the tech industry. Notably, Douglas's evolution into a facilitator is both outstanding and expected, drawing parallels between his experiences as a musician and his leadership role as a CTO.
The company he founded, Voltage Control, a facilitation Academy, boasts a notable clientele, including NASA, Nike, Google, and Adobe. Douglas's experiences as a facilitator and the challenges faced during the transition from in-person to remote facilitation amid the pandemic are explored in depth. Our guest underscores the importance of understanding virtual collaboration tools, adapting to the dynamics of remote meetings, and navigating the nuances of reading signals in a digital environment. Additionally, he emphasizes the need to slow down during virtual sessions, recognizing the unique challenges posed by the virtual landscape.
For facilitators grappling with educational challenges during the pandemic, this interview is a must-listen. Douglas addresses the fear among those accustomed to traditional tools, shedding light on the revelation of bad practices carried over to the virtual space and the critical reassessment prompted by the shift to remote work.
Douglas shares his uncertainty about policymakers' decisions as Kaleem and Rick navigate the ongoing debate about workplace flexibility. He highlights the influence of personal preferences, upbringing, and comfort on workplace flexibility. Advocating for intentional design in physical workspaces, Douglas suggests focusing on mandating behaviors rather than rigid office schedules.
In a casual yet impactful revelation, Douglas shares details about the upcoming Facilitation Summit scheduled for February 6th and 7th in Austin, Texas. This summit, featuring eight 90-minute workshops conducted by different facilitators, aims to benefit the Military Families Center through charitable donations.
This interview encapsulates immense value, offering a perfect snapshot of Douglas's expertise in facilitation, adaptability to changing circumstances, and commitment to community engagement and charitable initiatives. Tune in to gain valuable insights into the world of facilitation, remote work challenges, and the evolving landscape of workplace flexibility.
Learn more about Douglas:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/douglasferguson/
- Voltage Control Webpage: https://voltagecontrol.com/
- Facilitation Summit: https://voltagecontrol.com/events/summit/facilitation-lab/