"It's not that easy"

It’s our 20th birthday in 2014 and we’d like to celebrate with the past clients, participants, suppliers and supporters who have been such an important part of the last two decades.

But how do you celebrate when these people are spread around the World? It’s a common problem in virtual and international teams and organizations.

One of the topics we train people on in our workshops is how to stay in touch when working remotely. It’s easy to fall into the trap of only communicating when you need something or have a problem. We need ways to recreate the easy communication and relationship building that often happens at the coffee machine in a traditional face-to-face organization.

We’ve experienced this challenge in the past when we tried to organize face-to-face meetings. There is no logical place unless we fly to five or six major hub locations and even then the majority of our clients are not very close. It’s tempting to give up – but we wanted to do something different for our birthday.

First we looked at sending people vouchers for coffee in Starbucks or Costa and asking them to send us a photo of them enjoying it. This proved difficult as all the schemes were nationally based, only took payment in local currencies and were relatively hard to administer. It looks like the idea of an international coffee break hasn’t reached them yet!

Then one of our colleagues suggested sending a “virtual coffee” mug. We were able to place the design with Cafepress who can handle the production and shipping (mostly) globally. For any countries they cannot deliver to we will do it for you from our own stock.

If you are a past client, participant or have a genuine story about working with us over the last 20 years, we would love to hear from you. If you leave a comment and your details at http://www.global-integration.com/birthday/ we will send you a mug.

We plan to take the mugs with us when we travel and upload photos of where they have been. We would love it if you would do the same so we can see them in use around the world. You can upload photos at the same page link above or use Twitter with the hashtag #GI20 (you can even tweet us @GlobalInteg)

Don’t forget that celebration remains important when we work together remotely and make sure it is on the agenda for your Virtual Team.

About the author:

Kevan Hall Kevan Hall is a CEO, author, speaker and trainer in matrix management, virtual teams and global working. He is the author of "Speed Lead - faster, simpler ways to manage people, projects and teams in complex companies, "Making the Matrix work - how matrix managers engage people and cut through complexity", and the "Life in a Matrix" podcasts, videos, cartoons and blog. He is CEO and founder of Global Integration. Company profile: .

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