Each team consists of a certain combination of personality types. And with these unique personality types come different types of processing and information transmission. To act as a team, it is important that everyone communicates. Just as an orchestra tunes in before a concert or an athlete warms up before training, tuning a virtual team helps put everyone on the same side. Remote teams need to be more explicit in transmitting availability, because not everyone can just look over a wall or room to see if someone is in Deep Focus mode or in a meeting. Is it you? Virtual teams have become a business, so what does it take for them to work effectively? On June 10, 2013, I launched a discussion on this issue on LinkedIn. The result has been a multitude of experiences and tips on how virtual teams work. (I define “virtual teams” as working groups that (1) have key members who interact primarily electronically and (2) perform interdependent functions, i.e. they are really teams and not just self-employed groups). I distilled the results and combined them with my own work, which focuses on how new leaders should evaluate and align their teams for the first 90 days. Because then it`s really important to lay the foundation for superior team performance – virtually or otherwise. Here are ten basic principles to achieve this: 4. Use the best communication technologies.
Developments in collaborative technologies – from shared workspaces to multi-point video conferencing – undoubtedly make the virtual team easier. However, choosing the “best” technologies does not necessarily mean that they move with the latest or most functional technologies. It is important not to sacrifice reliability to be up to date. If the team has trouble connecting, or wastes time working on elements of the collaborative suite, it undermines the entire business. So, on the robustness side. Also be prepared to sacrifice certain functions on behalf of everyone on the same systems. Otherwise, the second-rate team members risk being created and efficiency compromised. Be reachable. AlS should be easy to find for everyone on the team.