How to build a connected culture with virtual teams: Larry English President Centric Consulting with Jonathan Bowman-Perks MBE
- Larry English
Before founding Centric, Larry worked for a large international consulting firm, until he got burned out at 25. He and his wife backpacked around the world as he tried to find his path in life – and he did. Shortly after returning home, he and his like-minded pals founded Centric with a focus on changing how consulting was done by building a remote company with a mission to create a culture of employee and client happiness.
Two decades later, Centric has grown to more than 1,100 employees across the U.S. and India. It’s won numerous awards, including Fast Company’s Best Places for Innovators (2020) and Inc. 5000 (2007-2013, 2017). The company’s secret to success has been investing in a culture that values employee and client happiness through emphasizing work-life balance. Being remote has been a big part of achieving that culture. Larry firmly believes that remote/hybrid is the future of work not only because it is a better way to work, but also because it makes a company nimbler and able to attract and retain top talent around the world.
Desiring to help other businesses follow in Centric’s footsteps, he wrote Office Optional: How to Build a Connected Culture with Virtual Teams (2020). The book, which debuted as a #1 Amazon New Release in Office Management, serves as a roadmap for company leaders wishing to permanently adopt remote work all while building or maintaining a great culture. Larry has been donating the proceeds from the book to LaunchCode, a nonprofit that teaches people to code for free, providing pathways to successful tech careers.
Additionally, Larry authors a Forbes column on remote work / the future of work, and is a regular guest speaker on podcasts, conferences and more. He loves sharing his insights from leading a remote company for more than 20 years. These include:
- Why trust is the foundation of remote work success.
- How office space and the office ecosystem are changing.
- Why adopting remote work is necessary to compete for top talent.
- What process, technology, policy and training changes are required for permanently adopting remote work.
- How remote work improves employees’ quality of life.
His leadership tip: Trusting your employees is the best thing you can do as a leader, and the shortcut to trust is vulnerability.