Virtual teams: leadership training

Leading people in complex, remote, virtual, extended and matrix teams (Virtual teams leadership training)

On our webpage on virtual teams training we identified several different ‘flavors’ of virtual team which may work across distance (remote), cultures and time zones (international or global), in a matrix with multiple reporting lines and high levels of cross functional working, or may even extend outside the traditional organization in teams that include suppliers, partners and customers.

Leading each of these different types of virtual team can present subtly different people management challenges.

"virtual leadership"


Virtual Leadership Challenges

Some of the challenges we have experienced working with over 300 major multinationals and delivering over 100,000 participant days of training in these skills include:

  • You may need to exercise influence without authority and have no formal reporting lines or your team members.
  • You may be working with people from different cultures and time zones with different expectations about leadership and management.
  • Your team members may only spend a part of their time on your team and may be members of multiple teams.
  • You will probably be engaging and communicating with people through technology rather than face-to-face.
  • You may be working across functions and geography is in a complex organization such as a matrix. This can bring competing goals and higher levels of conflict.
  • You may be running a team that extends outside your own company to work with customers (such as a global accounts team) or with suppliers and partners (for example, supply chain partners).

We have existing intellectual property (IP) in all of these areas, and can quickly create a tailored training program based on your specific needs and challenges.

Virtual Teams Leadership Training

Case Study: Novartis

Read all about our case study with Novatis

A “one size fits all” virtual team program is unlikely to keep your specific blend of challenges and business issues, so our training programs are tailored to your specific needs.

There are, however, some consistent trends that we see across organizations, and our programs are usually based around ‘the 4Cs’ framework: what is different about cooperation, communication, control and community in a virtual environment.

Some of the typical challenges we address in our client organizations include:


  • Accelerating the delivery of virtual teams and projects by 25%.
  • Eliminating unnecessary communication such as meetings and conference calls to save up to a day a week of unnecessary work.
  • Finding the right way of cooperating for your virtual challenges – groups, teams, communities and networks, and how to manage them more effectively.

Case study: SAP

Read all about our case study with SAP


  • Creating a ‘heartbeat’ virtual communication plan.
  • Choosing and using the best technology for specific tasks.
  • Running more engaging and participative face-to-face and online meetings, webinars and other forms of communication.
  • Keeping in touch when face-to-face is not an option.


  • Developing and repairing trust in virtual teams.
  • Balancing control and trust, and identifying where each adds value.
  • Developing capability, confidence, and the right level of support with remote people.
  • Avoiding the ‘accidental micromanager’ trap.
  • Continuous improvement for people.

Case Study: Depuy

Read all about our case study with Depuy


  • Managing as one of several bosses – divided loyalties and competing goals.
  • Building community and team spirit virtually.
  • Managing cultural differences.
  • Understanding how to stay visible when working remotely.
  • Building and engaging a network to get things done.

The training can be targeted at leaders or run with an intact team enabling immediate application of the learning.

In a global business nearly every team is remote. Simply knowing a team from a group and ensuring building community before focusing on task has changed the way I manage and delivered incredible commitment and loyalty … fully recommended.

Why not…..?

Case Study: Poyry

Read all about our case study with Poyry

  • Speak to one of our specialists to find out how we can tailor something to meet your specific training needs.
  • Request our ‘Virtual Teams’ white paper.
  • Contact us to benchmark your team’s performance.
  • Join one of our social networks to keep up to date with developments in this field.

There is a handy form on the right of this page (on most devices) to request more information or to contact our closest office to speak to a specialist. Please contact us to discuss your specific needs.

Global Integration

Last updated September 2014

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