Following our previous post on the top five virtual team challenges I am going to start by looking at the 3rd most important challenge from our virtual team survey – how can we stay visible to the organization when we are working remotely.

Participants from our remote and virtual teams training programs tell us that visibility is important for many reasons, including

  • to get access to attention and resources for your virtual team
  • to keep priority on your activities
  • to attract people to want to work on your virtual teams
  • for career development

In large companies, especially where you are working in a virtual team away from the centre of power, there is a real risk of “out of sight, out of mind”. It is not enought to be doing a good job, you also need to be seen to be doing it.

Some of our participants, especially the engineers, argue that it should not be this way, doing good work should be enough. Part of me agrees but it the reality is….

I am definitely not advising you to become one of the horrible corporate politicians who spend more time “spinning” a good message than doing a good job, but if you are working remotely or in a virtual team you do need to manage your visibility.

One point of warning – I am assuming you are already doing a good job – if you are a lousy performer you should definitely not work on your visibility: just keep your head down.

A framework that is used in some organizations for thinking about this is PIE – this stands for the three key elements of visibility – in virtual teams or anywhere

  • performance
  • image
  • exposure

All three of these are important and need to be managed. According to some studies, exposure is the most important of the three.

I found this html version of a PowerPoint presentation from GE online which explains the PIE concept in more detail. I hope you find it useful in planning to improve the visibility of your virtual team.

If you would like some help facilitating a workshop on virtual team branding and visibility please contact us,

How do you manage visibility in 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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