As we continue to work with Global and Virtual Teams, we are impressed by how critical these leadership and functional teams are to their company’s performance, yet alarmed by how difficult it is for them to really capture what is possible as an aligned team.
Time and geography, culture and communication, the demand to both hit their numbers yet really think together (the Now and the New) are challenges for almost every virtual and global team we work with.
So we pose 4 key questions for those who sit on or who support these teams:
1. What kind of team do you need to be? This seems like an elementary question on the surface. Yet it is a key, usually unexamined question that defines how interdependent and collaborative your team needs to be and what kind of conversations you need to have. There is no one “right” kind of team. One size does not fit all. Ask this question and really pull for responses.
2. How clear is your strategic focus? We assume that there is almost always a strategic plan in place. The question is, how clear is the team about their strategic focus and critical priorities? How well has this been communicated down and across the organization? Do people understand it? And when was the last time you had the 20,000 foot view of strategy together as a virtual team?
3. How open, honest, and inclusive is this team with one another? Geography takes a toll on establishing trust. Is your team open and candid with one another? Do you deliberately work to include all opinions, even those on the speakerphone, into your dialogue? Do you meet together often enough? You cannot utilize the collective intelligence of smart individuals if trust and candor are not fully present.
4. How good is your team now and what would it take to be even better – to be a “Top Team?” Ask people to rate the team on a 1-10 scale now and ask two questions: What makes it as good as it is, and what would it take to be a 10? You might also ask what value would you see from a higher number?
These are seemingly easy questions to ask — yet they set the stage for compelling and critical dialogue. In today’s world, being a Top Team is essential, especially if you operate globally and/or virtually.
What do you think about this? What are the best practices you see in global and virtual teams?
For additional information about our newest Global Team Assessment, please contact us at www.TopTeaming.com or 404. 377-9408.