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How I Work: An interview with Doug MacKay of Critical Mass

08.14.2014
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Meet Doug MacKay of Critical Mass. He's inspired other members of the Jive Community with his enthusiasm and knowledge and was suggested for this interview by our first interviewee, Rachel Duran. I think that Doug has the workstyle question SOLVED, folks. And if you have any doubts, check out the photo below which shows where he was working from last week! I don't want to spoil it though, so let's start at the beginning.


How I Work - Doug Small image.jpg

Libby: Where do you work (location, in the office, remotely, etc.):

Doug: I'm working at the headquarters of Critical Mass, a global marketing agency, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Mostly I work in the office but it seems lately that I'm working all the time: at home and mobile. The interesting thing is that the idea of work is changing. While it's pervasive, the load sometimes diminishes to the point where I can enjoy the outdoors AND keep working.

howIwork.jpg

  The ultimate office view.

LT: So, what's your current gig?

Doug: I'm currently playing as the Director of Information Systems at Critical Mass, which is a lot of fun as I get to solve global issues for all of our employees and valued clients. I get to do everything from forming our #UserCentricIT strategy and budgeting to personal on-boarding training for new employees.

LT: How do you use Jive at work (internal, external, etc)?

Doug: We've been living Jive internally now for almost 4 years. It's been a wild ride of successes. We're now piloting externally accessible spaces and Box integrations so we're extending our hub.

LT: Mac or PC (or something else)?

Doug: As an agency we're all over the place! Mostly a Mac shop for creatives but we do everything so we have PCs as well. Of course, there's always something else but I won't bore you with Solaris and Linux!

LT: How about your mobile device?

Doug: I just switched over from my old iPhone4S to a brand-spanking-new rockin' HTC One M8! Wicked! I really loved my iPhone, but I'm amazed with my HTC. Just wish it would work with iPhoto.

LT: If you had to pick one word, how would you best describe how you work?

Doug: Focused. Our systems are mission critical so that dictates my world.

LT: What apps/software/tools can't you live without?

Doug: Oh no. Now you'll know how geeky I can be. Yeeesh! Well, Apache Directory Studio, Chrome, OneLogin, Jive, BoxSync, Terminal, TextMate, and Adium. I find Chrome just works better, you know?  Easier, faster and simple. With all of these tools there's a lot of complexity so I need a simple clean work to wield the tools.

LT: Your tech-geekiness doesn't scare me! Let's keep going... Besides your phone and computer, do you have a favorite gadget?

Doug: Well, it's summertime so my favorite gadget is my BBQ!

LT: And that's not a tech gadget at all!

LT: What's your favorite to-do list manager?

Doug: Now we're getting personal. I'm old-school so I use an stack of paper. I write things down. Sure, I've got Notes and Reminders and Calendars but to-do's are easier to scratch off and pour coffee onto.

LT: I totally get it, I have to admit that I'm a fan of the old-fashioned notebook. Go figure.

LT: I already saw your vacation office from the photo, so what's your daily workspace like?

Doug: It's rather purposeful. We're entirely digital here and move around a lot, so culturally our desks aren't expressions of individuality. It takes too long to clean up!  Mostly I have a screen to do all my work and a phone (or two) to reach out.

LT: What do you listen to while you work?

Doug: We're nimble and responsive here. There's music playing all the time but it's Songza! Otherwise we're open concept and talk all the time. I only bring on the Katy Perry when I need to concentrate.

LT: That's hilarious.

LT: So what's your best time-saving trick?

Doug: Focus. I'm legendary here at focusing to the point of not hearing my co-workers. That's without headphones. It's kind of embarrassing, really.

LT: And how do you balance work and life?

Doug: I ensure that if anyone can work remotely it's got to be the IT team. After all, if we can't do it right for a digital agency then we're not doing our jobs. So that means I split my time between office and home. It keeps my family happy even though I might be on the deck with my laptop. I also make sure to silence my phone for non-work hours and only let emergency calls come through. It streamlines life.

LT: What's your sleep routine like?

Doug: LOL, I'm a Dad so I have the superhuman ability to sleep anywhere, at any time.  Gimme a sec...Zzzzzzzz....

LT: I am fairly sure that moms have the exact opposite superhuman ability of waking up at the slightest sound. I'm a little jealous.

LT: Almost done... Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Doug: Both. I think that INTJ's don't have to be always "I" but can move into the "E" given the right circumstances. I lean more "I". Maybe 11 out of 20...

LT: What's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?

Doug: Really two things: Do whatever you want, but make sure you're the best as you can be at it. And something I've learned over time as a parent: Treat everyone like they are your kids and they'll love you back.

LT: Fill in the blank.

Doug: I'd love to see John Schwiller answer these same questions.


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