Virtual Team Implementation Issues

Virtual team effectiveness is damaged by poor understanding and weak implementation.

In previous articles I have suggested that Virtual Teams must be understood and managed in a radically different way if their benefits are to be realised. If we want to make our virtual teams more productive and more agile we need to learn from natures teams - I call this bioteaming.

An article in MIS Magazine “Virtually there?” written by Brad Howarth provides good support for this claim by suggesting that the main reason virtual teams fail is “bad implementations”

The author goes on to report comments by Dr John Gundry that bad implementations arise from the mistaken assumption that “there are no specific techniques and no specific tools, no special understanding, needed for virtual teams”

The article cites the main virtual team implementation issues as:

  1. Poor relationship management of remote workers
  2. Negative impact of organisational politics on virtual teams
  3. Lack of virtual team leadership skills
  4. Culture clashes across national boundaries
  5. Lack of team member empowerment

The article ends with a case study of virtual teams in an Australian engineering company and the quote that in virtual teams “respect and rapport don’t come free any more”

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Bioteams Books Reviews

Organisational teams: thin slice for responsiveness

 Organisational teams: thin slice for responsiveness

Humans and animals do not need complete information to act; they can operate on various clues provided there is a sufficient context. Organizational teams can also use this thin slicing technique in conjunction with short messaging to enhance their performance. Malcolm Gladwell’s introspective book Blink digs deep into the abyss of human cognition to illustrate the human ability to think at a subconscious level. The idea of thin slicing is used where one is introduced to only a few snippets of information which lead to a series of conclusions based on moments of rapid cognition – an ability claimed to be intrinsically dormant in most humans. By bioteams guest author Max Bhanabhai.


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