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Investing in People - Working remotely creates a shift in management mindset

Todd Gagne

Ex - SVP of Global Products at Concur

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Problem

"When I first started working at Concur I was based in Seattle. My wife was working at Microsoft at the time, and when we got married we agreed that we would move back to South Dakota at some point to raise our kids. I thought that that was crazy – she was a developer at Microsoft, and I just couldn't see it happening. But after having our first child, we agreed to the move. I was worried, as I didn't see there being ANY tech jobs in South Dakota."

Actions taken

"I talked to Concur about moving, and they weren't happy about the idea, but they put me on a six-month probation to see how it would go. One of the things that happened when I moved to working remotely was that there was a fundamental shift in the way that I thought about management. When I was in an office, I was on a good career path, and I enjoyed being able to deliver solutions directly to management. However, when you move and manage people remotely, you don't have that luxury."

"This led to a fundamental shift in how I managed people. I invested more in people so I understood their strengths and weaknesses, so I was then able to promote their strengths and invest in their opportunity areas. I spent more time learning about how my employees learned, how they made decisions, how they dealt with conflict, what motivated them and how they communicated. Instead of always being out in front of my team members, I was now behind, supporting them in everything they were doing."

"This completely revolutionized the way I interacted with my employees. I now look at my relationships with others I work with at Concur about empowering them to take the lead on their own. This has led to me having much more motivated employees."

Lessons learned

"I have worked remotely for Concur for 14 years, and I now report directly to the president of the company. A big part of my success has been this shift to the employee and investing in their future. If I do that good things happen."


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Todd Gagne

Ex - SVP of Global Products at Concur


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