Thoughtfully applying the right technology – an interview for Collaboration Superpowers: The Field Guide
One of my main mantra’s regarding the technology side of virtual teamwork and remote collaboration has always been “It’s not about technology – it’s the right technology thoughtfully applied”. I was delighted a few weeks back when Lisette Sutherland, the Director of Collaboration Superpowers, contacted me about doing a Google Hangout video interview to talk about my ideas and thoughts regarding remote collaboration for her upcoming book Collaboration Superpowers – The Field Guide. This book, which you can preorder now, is packed with stories and tips for those whose business models depend upon successfully bridging distance to accomplish knowledge work. She has interviewed a number of experts and early adopters and brings you their lessons learned.
It was great to get a chance to talk with Lisette. She has over 10 years experience with web-based collaboration tools and online community management and her goal is to get the best people working together regardless of location. A woman after my own heart!
With both our varied experience we had no shortage of things to talk about! We had a great discussion about a variety of topics including The Anywhere Office – what we like about remote working, what the major stumbling blocks are to successful virtual teamwork, tips for managing remote workings, work-life balance, and how to choose the best technology for remote collaboration.
The interview was done via video with Google Hangouts but unfortunately about half way through we had some audio issues. Lisette had the interview transcribed and posted it to her website today along with the YouTube video of the interview. You can check out the interview here.
I urge you to sign up for her mailing list and pre-order her book as it will be filled with lots of great tips and best practices for remote collaboration.
I was very excited last week when this short video from 37 Signals showed up in my inbox promoting their new book REMOTE – Office Not Required. Take a few minutes and watch it as they talk about all the things I’ve long championed as the advantages of embracing and working in The Anywhere Office® – especially with regards to lifestyle compatibility and productivity.
If you’ve read the articles I post on this blog it should come as no surprise to you that I loved the NY Times Bestseller REWORK written by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of 37 Signals (the company that created the popular online collaboration and project management software Basecamp). In REWORK they challenge the usual thoughts and paradigm about work, meetings and what you need to run a successful company. It really changes the way you think about running a business in today’s world of work.
Well it looks like Jason and David have done it again this week with the release of their new book called REMOTE – Office Not Required. This book speaks more directly to the concept of The Anywhere Office® that we discuss and celebrate here on this blog. This short blurb about their book says it all:
As an employer, restricting your hiring to a small geographic region means you’re not getting the best people you can. As an employee, restricting your job search to companies within a reasonable commute means you’re not working for the best company you can. REMOTE, the new book by 37signals, shows both employers and employees how they can work together, remotely, from any desk, in any space, in any place, anytime, anywhere.
An eye opening article from Sebastian Bailey highlighting how little progress in some ways virtual team management has made in the last 15 years…
In 2000, Wayne Cascio identified five disadvantages of virtual teams, none of which have been resolved by 12 years of technological advances. Overcoming these obstacles isn’t about high-definition video conferencing; it’s about effective leadership that accounts for the nuances of the virtual environment.
Read the article here: How To Beat The Five Killers Of Virtual Working – Forbes.
Whitepaper: Effective Team Management A Challenge in the Virtual Workforce
Science-Based Behavioral Assessment Helps Managers Motivate, Develop and Coach Remotely
WELLESLEY, Mass., Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The virtual workforce in the U.S. ballooned from 9.5 million in 1995 to 13.4 million in 2010, growing to an estimated 20-30 million people currently working remotely at least once per week. According to new whitepaper from global consulting firm PI Worldwide, despite more employees embracing—and even expecting—a distributed work environment, research indicates low levels of confidence in the ability of managers to adequately motivate, coach and develop employees within a virtual environment.
The whitepaper titled, Managing the Challenges of the New Virtual Workforce: The Use of Personality Data to Build and Develop High Performing Virtual Teams, examines the pressures facing leaders to manage and develop teams operating virtually and the benefits behavioral assessment data provides for enhancing communication, collaboration and efficiencies across different time zones and cultures.
“The most successful virtual teams are led by managers who understand what motivates and drives performance at the individual and team levels, assigning people to tasks in line with their natural behavioral styles,” said Nancy Martini , President and CEO of PI Worldwide. “Managers who apply behavioral insights produce teams that function with stronger working relationships, communicate more effectively and deliver on the team’s collective goals.”
According to a Forrester survey cited in the whitepaper, “effective communication” is a top concern for managers of remote teams (49%), followed by “managing projects and deadlines successfully (43%)” and “creating consensus during decision-making (43%).” Martini notes additional challenges of remote team management include:
- Difficulty in building a shared sense of purpose
- Over-reliance on electronic communications
- Low team cohesion and trust
- Less satisfaction with the team experience
In a remote working environment, it can be difficult for team members to build rapport or a sense of camaraderie which can jeopardize productivity. Through behavioral assessments (sometimes called personality assessments), Martini says, managers can uncover the natural behavioral characteristics of team members to better define high performance, facilitate workflow, reduce conflict and improve group synergy.
Read the rest of this article here: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/whitepaper-effective-team-management-a-challenge-in-the-virtual-workforce-192330671.html
See the whitepaper here: http://www.piworldwide.com/landing-pages/virtual-workforce-hmpg.aspx
We all understand the importance of face-to-face communication and non-verbal cues. This study would suggest that even ‘virtual’ face time promotes more effective distributed team work.
MANCHESTER, England, November 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —
New research shows that video-conferencing is more effective than telephone and email for remote team-working.
The research was conducted by the globally-recognised Fraunhofer Institute, a specialist in workplace collaboration technology, for OmniJoin, a new video and webconferencing solution from technology giant Brother.
It tested the impact of video-conferencing on the behaviour and productivity of two teams who undertook simulated workplace tasks* while based at different locations.
The key findings were that, compared to collaborating by telephone and email, video-conferencing…