Global Virtual Teams

GLOBAL VIRTUAL TEAMS- Andy Brough

Global virtual teams communicate and work asynchronously or synchronously through a range of technologies such as telephone, electronic mail, bulletin boards, audio,/video/data conferencing, automated workflow and even collaborative writing. In spite of all of this technology trust is built most effectively through face-face communication. a global team. The further apart people are from one another geographically, the more they need to focus on developing trust with one another. Paradoxically, the further they are from one another, the more difficult it becomes to build trust. This situation creates fragmentation, isolation and confusion. When we add the issues of cross cultural communication into the mix, this becomes even more challenging.

The rationale for developing global teams is straightforward: Competitive advantage can be achieved through collaborative advantage. In a world characterized by globalization, hypercompetition, new technology and growing complexity, companies need to leverage global talent by focusing on the virtual workplace.

The 6 C’s of Global teams, as identified by Terry Brake are:

Cooperation – Addressing the challenge of Developing and maintain trusting relationships across geographies, time zones, and cultures

Convergence - Addressing the challenge of maintaining a clear purpose, direction, shared set of priorities, and measures.

Coordination - Aligning work through clearly defined roles and responsibilities, shared tools, processes, and methods

Capability- Leverage the knowledge, skills, and experiences of all members.

Communication- Establish shared understandings across distances.

Cultural Intelligence- Developing and maintaining a global virtual workplace inclusive of value and style differences.

If you have a need for a training intervention specifically addressing the challenges of working in a virtual team, please contact andyb[at]andrewbrough[dot]com.