New skills for getting things done in virtual organizations
Working with colleagues in other functions, locations, business units and cultures is becoming common for many people. Our virtual teams benchmarking survey has shown that on average people are part of around five different virtual teams.
This is a big change to the traditional way of working which focused on one primary team, and working within our function and location. Personal effectiveness in this more complex environment demands new skills.
Global Integration has been running remote and virtual training since 1994, when we ran the world’s first virtual team training course. A lot has changed since then, but our programs are fundamentally adapted to this virtual world – NOT a traditional training program with an added slide on e-mails. We offer training specifically for people who are leading virtual teams and people working in intact teams.
Our training programs are tailored to the specific requirements of participant’s roles: perhaps working across functions, multiple sites, and national or corporate cultural differences, or even working with people outside your own organization, such as suppliers, customers and partners.
We have existing expertise and training materials in all of these areas, and can therefore quickly tailor and customize a program to match the needs of people in your organization.
The typical challenges we see in this area in other organizations include:
Cooperation can become more complex and expensive when people are in different locations, time zones and cultures. We help people understand specifically how they need to cooperate with others and what are the best means of doing this. We believe there are too many unnecessary meetings and pointless e-mails, so we help people to cut out unnecessary work and focus on speeding up the delivery of the work that really matters.
- Faster delivery of activity and projects.
- Save a day a week by cutting out unnecessary work.
- Build an effective network for getting things done without traditional authority.
In virtual working, we usually communicate through technology. We help people to ‘tame the technology’ and use it to create really engaging two-way communication.
- Choosing and using the right technology for the right task.
- Establishing the right “heartbeat” pattern of communication to get things done.
- Staying in contact remotely.
- Creating engaging and participative online and face-to-face communication events.
When we can’t see the work that others are doing, there are factors that can undermine trust. We may have different bosses and goals. We may experience misunderstandings when communicating through technology or across cultures.
However, if trust and confidence are undermined, managers often respond by increasing control. We focus on specific tools and skills for creating that trust and confidence, and for enabling higher levels of empowerment.
- Build trust remotely.
- Find the right balance of control and trust in working with your colleagues.
- Push back against unnecessary central control, earning the right to be empowered.
- Coach and support your peers.
In the past we worked face-to-face for a single boss and often had a sense of team spirit or community from being in the same location as our colleagues. Today, our work communities are distributed and may span the World. We may rarely meet face-to-face. We need to understand how much community we really need and how we can build it given the constraints of our new environment.
- Deal with multiple bosses and divided loyalties .
- Create team spirit and a sense of community, when we can’t get face-to-face .
- Staying visible to the organization when working remotely.
Virtual working training
Our training can be run for individual contributors on an open enrolment basis, or we can work with intact teams, to help people quickly apply the concepts to their working environment.
Because we have existing intellectual property in all of these areas we can quickly tailor a solution to your particular business needs and situation.
- Speak to one of our specialists to find out how we can tailor something to meet your specific training needs.
- Request our white paper on virtual teams.
- 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.
Last update: July 2014