On the drive up to ski in the backcountry the other day my son and I talked through our plans.

What should we do if conditions are like “this”?
What about if “this” happens”?
Here’s the research I did about the snowpack in this area.
What do you think about this route?

It went on for a while and we came up with a plan. 
The first thing we tried didn’t work out so we went on to plan b (which was part of our plan).

We collaborated together to make the plan.

How do you collaborate with your team of OFS’?

Something I’ve noticed is people often feel like their Filipino specialist isn’t going to have good ideas. 

Or their ideas aren’t realistic.

So you never ask for help.

I’m definitely guilty of it. 

But over the years I’ve come to realize the value of just talking through things with someone who is working on the same project but who has a different perspective.

I don’t think it matters what means you use for this.

What matters is that you start an open conversation where they’re able to contribute.

Just last week I sent a question to my team via basecamp.

Hey, I don’t like the term ‘VA’.  People think they’re only able to hire a secretary and that’s just not true.  
What other words do you guys think we could use to describe your roles?

I got a TON of ideas back from just the simple question.
‘digital hero’
‘virtual expert’
‘online rockstar’
‘virtual filipino hero’
‘digital master’
‘remote support deputy’

I wasn’t asking them to come up with something definitive.  

That’s my job.  I’m the CEO.  It’s my job to make ultimate decisions like this.

But they contributed so much.  

In the end it was their ideas and contributions which led me to “Online Filipino Specialist”.  It wasn’t exactly what they came up with, but their creativity spurred creativity in me. 


Give your OFS a chance to contribute.  
You may not use their exact idea, but it might give you other ideas.
You’ll build their trust.
You’ll build their confidence.
You’ll make them more likely to stick their neck out and try something new and awesome.


PS. If you want more about how I work, my book The Outsourcing Lever covers all kinds of thought processes and ways to decrease your work load and be more effective with your “VA”.