Most online communities are simply online ghost towns. People register, get their login details, visit once, decide its not for them and never return. This pattern is repeated over and over. Maybe online communities are not for you? Here is how to decide, and if you still want one - here is how to avoid the most obvious mistakes.
Imagine the scenario. The all-day team workshop went so well. You just stopped short of a group hug. You finished off by agreeing the actions. Everyone was so pumped up and committed. Fast forward 2 weeks and all the actions are forgotten - just words on a page somewhere! Sounds familiar? What went wrong and how do you stop it next time?
A lot of my work involves facilitating large meetings where groups need to collaborate to resolve difficult issues or develop future plans for working together. Over the last 12 months I have started to share 4 Golden Rules with the participants which always seem to significantly improve the results we get. Here they are!
The Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina recently published a useful white paper on the topical area of developing skills for virtual teams. It is available online and in PDF. What I found most interesting was the section on Virtual Team Challenges.
I have been looking for way to monitor and track all my websites/blogs plus all my social media accounts (linkedIN, Twitter etc) from a single dashboard. I figured this would be pretty easy - a thing that most people would want to do! Not so - despite the abundance of great social media tools I found it surprisingly difficult to find one which met all my requirements.
I am always on the lookout for good simple visualisation techniques to support change management. Chris Collison has introduced me to The River Diagram - a great strategic tool for moving a community of groups forward via common initiatives and best practice sharing.
I have been piloting a radically different approach to meetings which I am calling "Egoless Meetings" which addresses three popular unwritten rules about good meeting practices which are unfortunately totally wrong. RULE 1 is that everybody gets to speak. RULE 2 is that discussions in themselves can be useful. RULE 3 is that when you meet you must work as a team not as individuals.
Team Beliefs are the fuel which can really energise or kill team effectiveness. Unfortunately this is often the most neglected aspect of a high-performing team initiative. In this article I remind people of the key beliefs of high-performing teams.
Very interesting article in The Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize, Bacteria and the power of teamwork, which reveals the amazing ability of bacteria to "quorum sense" - i.e. know when they have critical mass to achieve their objective. Quorum Sensing is hugely important for human groups and one we often get badly wrong!
The latest report (September 2011) on Virtual Teams, Virtual Work Environments in the Post-Recession Era, from Brandman University, includes very interesting results of a survey commissioned from Forrester in 2010 on Virtual Teams.