Overcoming Challenges on Remote Teams: Part 3

In my last two posts, we tackled a few challenges that remote teams face. Part 1 was focused on getting your remote team aligned. Part 2 on building cohesion.

In this post we'll focus on process.

For remote teams to maximize their effectiveness, they need to have disciplined processes in place. Here are some ideas you might consider:

Overcoming Challenges on Remote Teams: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed some of the challenges of working on remote teams and ideas for getting your remote team aligned. But, to truly be effective, your remote team has to find a way to build cohesion. After all, only when people are working together on the right things can we gain efficiencies.

Here are a few ideas:

Overcoming Challenges on Remote Teams: Part 1

Working on teams where some or all team members are remote is becoming the norm rather than the exception. And frankly, having remote team members adds complexity that often times accelerates and amplifies communication breakdowns.

For example,

Orienting New Team Members

One of the fastest ways to get a new team member "up to speed" is to make the process intentional.

In many companies, HR plays a key role in "onboarding" new employees. But more must be done at the team level (from senior leadership teams to functional teams) to help new team members get acclimated to the culture and its unwritten rules (that aren't documented in employee handbooks), and to truly understand roles and accountabilities (that aren't usually accurately captured in a position description).

When teams formally spend time orienting new team members it...

Understand Team Type to Create Team Purpose

I recently wrote a post about the importance of understanding your team's purpose. After all, purpose drives everything. It drives what's on the team's "agenda" and what's not (I am using the term "agenda" more broadly than meeting agenda. I am referring to the specific areas the team should be focused on).

An important step in clarifying team purpose is to first understand the "type" of team you need (and want).

Growth and Culture

With the economy recovering and business picking up, I have been asked the following question several times by clients and potential clients in the past few weeks...

"How do we keep growing and maintain our culture at the same time?"

That is a great question.

An Interesting Duality

One of the challenges that senior leadership teams face is what I call an "interesting duality."

On on hand, a senior leader is often responsible for a functional unit or team within an organization. On the other hand, they are asked to be on a team with other leaders - usually headed by a Director, VP, or CEO.

Team Size - Does it Matter?

My clients often ask me,"How big should our team be?"

My answer is typically...it depends.

It depends on the purpose of the team.

The challenge on many teams is a lack of clarity about a team's true purpose. In most cases, team's don't even know that they don't know their purpose.

This is usually a bigger issue at the senior leadership team level, where a CEO, VP, or Director leads a
team of other leaders.

Success: One Step Beyond Defeat

I have found myself reading works by Napoleon Hill, an American author who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal success literature. In the early nineteen hundreds, Andrew Carnegie commissioned him to interview over 500 successful men and women in order to discover and publish their formula for success.

Align Your Team in 2011 - Part 2

The Leadership Story

It had been almost three weeks since their last one-on-one, but having returned from India and with Angela's sudden departure, Steve was anxious to get the process started again. He reflected on how easy it was for pressing matters to get in the way of focusing on important things like coaching his people.

Ben was rushed and a bit frustrated that he had to attend this one on one. Especially today, it seemed there were so many deadlines waiting on his attention.

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