Virtual Teams — at best, project driven groups of very talented people pulled together from around the country and/or globe. At worst, vision lacking, communication hampered groups of talented people pulled together across disparaging timezones. When they work well – they are a thing of precision and beauty. When they fail, they are an unwanted nightmare.
Dr. Lynda Gratton has written a useful piece on creating, working with, and maintaining virtual teams. She covers 10 helpful tips for success in this unique environment. She covers such topics as finding team mates that know one another, breaking the team into regional work groups, encouraging frequent communication, and making sure that the project tasks are challenging and interesting.
Around the world, a wide range of corporate tasks are being performed by teams of employees who rarely if ever meet in person.
The rise of so-called virtual teams is hardly surprising, given the vast investments corporations are making in internal communications and networks. Technically, it’s no longer a challenge to work closely with colleagues in distant locations or to hold meetings with participants scattered around the globe.
In practical terms, however, plenty of hurdles remain. Among them: time-zone differences that make quick exchanges difficult, and cultural miscues that can cause misunderstandings. Teams that don’t meet in person are considered less likely to develop the kind of chemistry seen in teams that do — an element that’s often seen as a key factor in making teams productive.
For anyone working virtually, this is a must read. Pass this around for others on your team to read as well.
Finally, let me know what you have found useful (or dreadful) in a virtual team environment. Comment below!