Meeting my virtual team for the 1st time in 7 years
Launching one of the first online positive media
7 years ago, after travelling and working in Bolivia, Peru and Argentina, I came back to France and realised how much happier I was during my travels because of not following the media and all the bad news happening in the world. I believed the world was full of ordinary people achieving extraordinary things and that we rarely heard about their stories. So I decided to create Le petit journal des Bonnes Nouvelles or LPJDBN (EN: a French media publishing good news only), first as a Pdf sent to my friends and family and then as a Facebook page to reach as many people as possible.
At the time it was taking me about 24h to find 10 pieces of good news. Today, thankfully, many official media and other people have started to share more positive news and it can now take me less than 5 minutes to find something I think worth sharing.
Growing followers, growing team
I started sending the Pdf to about 150 people. When I launched the Facebook page we quickly became 400 followers and stayed at that level for a few years. And then I joined an entrepreneur programme called Ticket for Change in 2015 where I met amazing people, amongst which two of them asked me if they could join the adventure. And then everything changed. We created a Twitter account @LPJ_DBN, tried to shoot “Good news” videos and increased the numbers of followers up to 2,016 by January 2016. We received more and more positive feedback and soon two new members joined the team.
Today we have more than 5,600 followers on Facebook and we reach up to 40,000 people a week by posting one piece of good news every day. Our purpose remains the same: to provide an alternative to the official media by publishing only positive news and inspire people to make the world a better place.
Leading a virtual team
So then I suddenly became the virtual manager of a team of 4 who were all volunteers, had their own lives and preferences on how to support LPJDBN. Without realising, I developed various key skills such as engaging your team with other things than rewards, understanding everyone’s skills and aspirations, taking everyone’s input to make a decision, and creating a vision for everyone to relate to.
Many challenges came along the way: the geographical distance, the fact I never met half of the team in person, our busy lives, etc. And yet, we have managed to organise ourselves in an effective way, we are clear on everyone’s responsibilities and we believe that what we do participates in making the world a better place. I have personally learnt that purpose and autonomy are the two key attributes to develop an engaged and productive team.
Meeting the team, finally!
Last March, we finally met! Stereotypically, as French people do, we met in a lovely restaurant in Paris over a delicious meal. A bit hesitant at first in our chats, we soon discussed openly about who we are, what we like about the team and our job and what could be done better or differently. It was absolutely fantastic and it felt as if all the work I have done in the last 7 years was suddenly becoming live in front of me.
I am ever so grateful for my team to be dedicating some time everyday to contribute to share an optimistic vision of the world. I am very proud of what we do and we’ll keep going until only good news is shared on TV and in the newspapers!