Virtual Teams

Visibility when working in remote teams: Twitter positioning

Many people who work from home, are in virtual teams or are part of the mobile workforce worry that their work is not visible to the rest of the organization.

There is a real risk that “out of sight” becomes “out of mind”. A lack of visibility can have consequences for our careers but also for our personal effectiveness and our ability to attract good people and resources to our virtual and remote teams.

This is an issue that comes up regularly on our virtual teams training.

I was in New York with an advertising agency once when the subject came up of the “elevator pitch” – an old idea where you imagine that you are in an elevator with a key customer or senior manager from your business and they push the button for the next floor. As the doors close they ask you “what do you do?”. and you have 30 seconds to deliver a memorable and relevant pitch. The NY company proudly pointed out that this idea was developed in Madison Avenue, just across the street but that this was a very old fashioned idea.

We talked for a while and then I suggested doing a “Twitter positioning”. They became very interested, asking “What is that” I explained that it was communicating the essence of your job or team in 140 characters or less on Twitter – they loved the idea. When I pointed out later that this was the same idea just replacing the word “elevator” with “Twitter”, they laughed – “now you understand the advertising industry”. 🙂

Whatever technique you use, it’s important to be aware that visibility is a challenge in remote and distributed teams and organizations.

Of course, our focus should first be on dong a good job but, given that, we also need to manage our visibility and exposure or we may not be as successful as we might otherwise be.

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