How to Avoid Virtual Miscommunication

May 20, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Technology in the hands of businessmen

This article, How to Avoid Virtual Miscommunication, by Keith Ferrazzi in Harvard Business Review (April 12, 2013) is a spot-on, powerhouse short-list of how to avoid miscommunication with a virtual team or project group.

Ferrazzi displays insight on challenges to virtual communication:

Think about the information you can glean just from the seating arrangement in a physical conference room — who sits next to whom, who’s at the head of the table, who has put a little extra distance between herself and her neighbor, and so on. All those cues are missing in a typical teleconference.

As well as unpacking a list of SIX best practices to achieve shared understanding in virtual communication. Here’s a favorite:

Avoid sloppy e-mailing. A new status symbol in today’s generally more egalitarian business environment has arisen: sloppy e-mails. One provocative study found that many executives have write terse e-mails with half-sentences, bad grammar, and atrocious spelling. The underlying message is that those individuals are far too busy to be bothered with writing perfectly polished text. Unfortunately, sloppy e-mails at best require wasting time trying to decipher them, and at worse cause workplace misunderstandings and costly errors. For offenders who claim they simply don’t have time to write better emails, researcher Jaclyn Kostnerdoesn’t mince words: “I tell them you have to find the time; otherwise, you’re not fit for the job and somebody else should be doing it. Or maybe you need to offload some responsibilities because there’s no excuse for sending people cryptic emails.”

If anyone gave attention to these 6 principles they would unquestionably avoid a whole lot of confusion, frustration, and unnecessary interaction. Do yourself a favor and read the full article here: How to Avoid Virtual Miscommunication – Keith Ferrazzi – Harvard Business Review.


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Work around the Clock: How Global Virtual Teams Are Re-Defining the Productivity Paradigm for Leading Companies

May 6, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., March 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — With more than one-third of employees working on at least one virtual team, it is critical for global organizations to find ways to overcome the hurdles of working virtually. Global companies are now investing resources in finding ways that will help employees work better together across time zones, differing cultures, and with conflicting workplace practices. While there are many places to misstep in the process of becoming global, leaders must examine which best practices are necessary and beneficial in order to achieve global operational excellence.

According to Best Practices, LLC’s primary research study, “Building Global Capability: Creating and Maintaining Effective Global Teams,” even global teams with established common processes and online tools can still suffer from failures and disappointments. Despite this, virtual teams can ultimately provide a company access to diverse skill sets and expertise, knowledge and wisdom about emerging markets, and round-the-clock business hours for efficiency.

In order to determine which best practices global leaders are implementing in order to create successful virtual teams, Best Practices LLC drew from extensive primary research that was completed with 59 executives from 56 leading companies. The full 56-page benchmarking report contains more than 100 metrics and 10 executive narratives, providing executives with global responsibility the tools, practices and techniques to help virtual teams work better together and achieve strategically aligned objectives.

Key topics of this primary research include:

  • Why companies establish global teams
  • How companies measure progress toward globalization
  • Tools and practices that accelerate progress
  • Practices that facilitate working with other cultures, time zones and workplaces
  • How progress of individual global teams is measured
  • Top improvement objectives for global teams
  • Key lessons learned for managing global teams
  • The biggest pitfalls to avoid in global team management

To learn more about this report, download a complimentary excerpt at

2nd Annual Telework Week March 5-9, 2012: Highlights in The Anywhere Office

March 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Today marks the beginning of the second annual  Telework Week hosted by Telework Exchange. The goal is to encourage people and organizations to pledge to telework during this week in order to get a first hand account of just how flexible, simple, and economical it can be to work in this mode. Already, more than 64,000 pledges have signed up for Telework Week, collectively saving more than $4.7 million in commuting costs in just one week.

I thought this event was a great opportunity to look back on my own year and review what we have accomplished to champion telework here in The Anywhere Office. Early in the year we published a free white paper called, WORK UNCHAINED: Workshifting and the Competitive Edge of The Anywhere Office®‘- this 16 page special report details:

  • Why workshifting provides a critical competitive edge
  • Common mistakes to avoid when enabling a mobile workforce
  • Best practices for evaluating your organization before implementing a workshifting strategy
  • How to assess information, communication and collaboration needs
  • Key tools to consider when implementing a workshifting program

Then I was fortunate to be included on a panel of  experts along with Jeff Zbar and Rachel Hastings to produce a teleseminar entitled, Telecommuting in the 21st Century: How to Implement or Improve Virtual Teams and Flexible Work in Your Organization which I turned into a free 13 part audio series. These 13 sessions comprise over an hour of informative content and will provide you with all the information you need to help you evaluate if telecommuting is a good fit for your business and how to get started or improve your virtual team work.

Finally, and perhaps most significantly for me, I redeveloped my virtual team leadership webinar –  The Art of Virtual Leadership. It now contains new and updated material and for the first time it’s available on-demand on any device that has Internet access. This 3-hour concise go-at-your-own pace course is packed with easy-to-understand overviews, key takeaways, action plans, checklists, tips, audio interviews, best practices, steps to take, proven strategies and more.

So, I’m proud of what we’ve created and contributed this year – and I hope you all can find some useful guidance and advice in this information. In order to celebrate Telework Week 2012 in the hopes that more organazations and individuals will realize the tremendous benefits of telecommuting, workshifting, and virtual teamwork, I am going to give away 2 FREE enrollments to The Art of Virtual Leadership webinar (registration is currently $157).

In order to enter the contest and be eligible to win your free enrollment you must do the following 2 steps:

  1. Follow me on Twitter@philmontero (I share information on telework, virtual teams, mobile technology, and tips on how to work in The Anywhere Office so I promise it’ll be worth it!)
  2. Send out the following Tweet (you can copy and paste it into twitter or use the tweet button below):
    RT @philmontero: It’s #telework week – visit The Anywhere Office for free resources – win a $157 webinar. #tlwk2012

To make it even easier simply click this tweet button
and you will be taken to your twitter page with the text already in place so you can just click SEND.

I am also offering a 20% discount to anyone who enrolls for The Art of Virtual Leadership during Telework Week 2012 (let’s say through Sunday March 11th). Use coupon code telework2012 in the shopping cart while registering for the webinar to receive an additional 20% off of the already discounted $197 registration fee.

Have a great Telework Week, let’s shoot for a telework MONTH next year…

Phil Montero
Founder of

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Links to Resources Mentioned Above:

Work Unchained Report:
Telecommuting in the 21st Century Audio:
Art of Virtual Leadership Webinar: