vteams-toronto - Managing Virtual Teams Text of speech...

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Managing Virtual Teams Text of speech given by Lisa Kimball for Team Strategies Conference sponsored by Federated Press, Toronto, Canada, 1997. Lisa Kimball is the Executive Producer of Group Jazz (www.groupjazz.com). The Nature of Virtual Teams Teams aren't what they used to be. The nature of teams has changed significantly because of changes in organizations and the nature of the work they do. Organizations have become more distributed across geography and across industries. Relationships between people inside an organization and those previously considered outside (customers, suppliers, managers of collaborating organizations, other stakeholders) are becoming more important. Organizations have discovered the value of collaborative work. There is a new emphasis on knowledge management - harvesting the learning of the experience of members of the organization so that it is available to the whole organization. All these changes in organizations have changed how teams are formed and how they operate. Teams have changed: From fixed team membership all team members drawn from within the organization team members are dedicated 100% to the team team members are co-located organizationally and geographically teams have a fixed starting and ending point teams are managed by a single manager To shifting team membership team members can include people from outside the organization (clients, collaborators) most people are members of multiple teams team members are distributed organizationally and geographically teams form and reform continuously teams have multiple reporting relationships with different parts of the organization at different times Although the technology that supports these new teams gets most of the attention when we talk about virtual teams, it's really the changes in the nature of teams - not their use of technology - that creates new challenges for team managers and members. Most "virtual" teams operate in multiple modes including having face-to-face meetings when possible. Managing a virtual team means managing the whole spectrum of communication strategies and project management techniques as well as human and social processes in ways that support the team. Managers of small and large organizations have known the importance of facilitation for successful team process, but few people have really grappled with the issues of trying to manage teams that are connected by distance in space and time. With increasing relevance of distributed communications systems (Internet, Intranets, groupware) in a diversity of working groups' everyday lives, innovators in the field will need to integrate these virtual practices into their current team building strategies as well as learn how to continually improve virtual group process.
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There are several different kinds of virtual teams: Executive teams are made up of managers who are on the team because of their position in the organization. These teams are usually semi-permanent teams with responsibility for specific divisions or functions in the
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vteams-toronto - Managing Virtual Teams Text of speech...

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