Thursday, November 04, 2004

Dispelling the myths of global teams

Ross Mayfield has a good summary on the productivity of far flung teams.

He pointed me to an article (and another) from Fast Company, reading it just made me think of my time at Nortel Networks, the last team I had there was of 20 people spread over 8-10 countries across more timezones than I care to remember. We had more teleconferences than regular meetings, a lady I worked with in Nashville who was a telecommuter, spent many a day in her PJs as that was how she was dressed when she sat down "just to check here emails" .

The myths and truths referred to in the Fast Company article are very relevant. While you can have a read yourself here they are just in case you want the summary.

Myth: Far-flung teams are deployed to save money on travel.
Truth: High-performing global teams are measured on faster, better responses to rapidly changing environments.
Myth: Far-flung teams require hands-off leadership.
Truth: These teams require communication-intensive leaders. These team leaders check in on each of their members frequently, mentor them, and establish and communicate team norms.
Myth: Global team leaders don't deal directly with diversity.
Truth: Far-flung team leaders handle diversity purposefully, recognizing it early in the team's life cycle and leveraging it throughout the team's life cycle.
Myth: Face-to-face meetings are required early in a far-flung team's life cycle to build trust.
Truth: Global teams build trust through a planned team communication strategy and frequent in-process, team-tuning sessions mostly without ever meeting.
Myth: Given the restrictions of time and space differences, far-flung teams are best served by allocating one task to every member.
Truth: Far-flung teams build trust and simulate intellectual growth by pairing diverse members into subteams that perform highly interdependent tasks.

As more and more organisations are becoming global workforce technologies must continue to keep up so that they still add value. Technologies such as instant messaging, electronic white boards, electronic meeting rooms, workflow etc are key to your survival. No longer is it acceptable for a solution to require you to use processes and techniques that are outdated.

I have moved from this site to my new home which can be found a

posted by mspecht @ 11/04/2004 11:09:00 am   |