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Better Boards

Adapt to Skills Shortages Through Location Independence: Distributed Teams

Discover why your organisation needs to consider distributed teams as a lever for adaptability.

 

Learn from Australian case studies how to achieve the best results.

 

Discover the leading practice framework to guide your planning and implementation.

 

View the presentation here:

Better Boards Nina Sochon – Slide Pack [PDF]

 

Question & Answers

Q: I have a manager who is not keeping in touch with their team, what should I do?

A: It is important that managers and their teams, the whole team, comes to an agreement about how they will maintain visibility. I usually start this process with a team conversation about what is important to each person in the team about the way the team communicates – this highlights values. Then clarify those values into behaviours. When people participate in the process, they are more likely to own it and uphold it.

 

When cracks are starting to show, it’s important to assume the best rather than the worst. Bring your observations to the fore without making judgments or assumptions. Engage in a creative process to find solutions, rather than tightening control.

 

Q: I am about to be the CEO of an organisation amalgamating with one that is thousands of miles away, how can I set up the teams for success?

A: Right from the start, factor into your budget the fact that the teams will need to meet, say six monthly. The only circumstance where you don’t need to do this is if one team culture isn’t important. Make the most of that time together.

 

Create opportunities for connection, including starting virtual meetings early, with an invitation for others to arrive early to have time to catch up – this provides an opportunity for ‘water cooler’ conversations.

 

Keep in mind that people won’t bond ‘personally’ for the first few weeks, and it’s not wise to try to force this as some organisations do. Research shows that people bond over working together on projects, for the first few weeks. That establishes a basis for trust, which then extends to an interest in finding out more about each other.

 

With regards to whether you should get new technology, let the team tell you what their issues are with the current technologies. Check for these critical functions: information sharing, screen-sharing, document access, video calls and instant messaging.

 

 

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