New emergent technologies have challenged traditional ways of doing business and drastically changed how organizations work and sell their products and services. In a globalized world faced with technological challenges, top level managements are being introduced to new unforeseen opportunities while reaching their objectives. Technology induced changes have forced many businesses to embrace change management and support organizational restructuring to bring in technology based work processes in their day-to-day activities and processes. Traditional hierarchies are now being replaced by tech savvy portfolios and flexible working patterns. Marketing teams are becoming predominantly digital in nature and relying more and more upon collaborative work processes in which people and teams in remote locations form a part of the work force and contribute to the overall success of an organization. In this present day scenario, the virtual team leader plays a crucial role in meeting new business related challenges and paving a bright future for the organization.

 

Tips to become a competent virtual team leader

The following pointers can help you become an effective virtual team leader.

 

  1. Collaborate and get the team together

Collaboration is the key to streamlining work processes. When team members get to know each other and understand each other’s thought processes, miscommunication gives way to effective sharing of thoughts which is a prelude to healthy discussions and formation of great strategies. Face-to-face communications amongst team members is an excellent way to build trust. However, this can be difficult when teams are geographically distributed and have to work across different time zones. Video streaming tools and live conferencing software can go a long way in supporting healthy collaboration between team members. The virtual team leader should try to promote collaboration processes to build effective teams.

 

  1. Focus on tasks and processes besides goals and objectives

Team managers and leaders have to align their virtual teams and make them embrace processes and methods which can help to achieve primary goals and objectives envisioned by the management. With new teams, coordination of project related activities and encouraging people to interact more frequently with each other can prove to be a daunting task, especially when teams are distributed and operate on different time zones. It is more important to focus on bite-sized tasks and pay close attention to the process that actually facilitates the execution of tasks, rather than emphasizing upon goals and objectives all the time. It is worthwhile to understand that processes can execute properly only when tasks are properly detailed and defined. Virtual team leaders should give more emphasis on detailing tasks and streamlining work processes.

 

  1. Deal with cultural differences and ideas

Organizations the world over outsource work processes to reduce operational overheads and increase investment returns. Outsourcing proves to be beneficial but it brings its own set of issues. Societies and people have their own beliefs regarding religion and sense of moral ethics. At times, this can be a hindrance when team members have to decide on their own and undertake informed decisions. Something that might be perfectly acceptable and normal in one culture might be unacceptable in another. Friday is a holy day and a weekly offday  in most Gulf countries. Businesses prefer to remain closed on that day, while in the west Fridays are generally meant for weekly reports and next week planning meetings. Virtual team leaders should make efforts to understand the mindset of people belonging to different cultures and respect their beliefs.

 

  1. Use the best technology and tools

It doesn’t make sense to enter a battle field with bows and arrows when the enemy is using guns and grenades. The technology used to govern the work process often decides the success and outcomes of a project. With new technologies emerging day-by-day, there is a lot of scope in terms of features and facilities offered by various project management tools. It is imperative that correct tools be used to monitor work and make teams accountable for the work it does. Virtual team leaders should research properly and find the correct online tools which can boost productivity levels.

 

  1. Set pace and rhythm

It is highly common to see startups begin systematically by focusing upon the right things at the right time and eventually fail over time. Correct tools and processes are very important for successful project execution, but it is equally important to ascertain that the velocity at which the team is churning out work is maintained steadily day-after-day and month-after-month. Efforts should be regular and consistent in nature to make the project work. Virtual team leaders should help the team maintain a steady pace and rhythm at work.

 

  1. Agree upon a “common” language

A common problem faced by most team leaders while working with cross functional and remotely distributed teams is to effectively convey an idea and ensure that the team has understood it well. Confusions arise when technical terms are misinterpreted and wrong actions are carried out by team members. It may seem difficult at first but it can actually be easy to communicate in a language that is understood by all. Discuss terminology and work processes with remote teams and ask them to describe what they have understood – You’re sure to pinpoint a potential pitfall when you hear their explanations.

 

  1. Take some time out to just chill and have a great time

Project work can be boring and make people lose interest in their work over time. People need recreation to relax their minds from time to time. Arranging a virtual get-together and sharing a few mugs of beer can increase the comradeship and foster good relations.

 

  1. Assign and demand work

You will not get anything unless you ask for it. If virtual team leaders do not assign sufficient work to team members they will definitely compromise on the team’s capacity to do work. A little bit of work pressure is healthy for the team to perform at optimum levels.

 

  1. Distribute leadership

There is nothing more irritating than a senior who keeps on yelling out orders to subordinates all the time. It makes people insensitive towards work. Virtual team leaders should try to play a servant-leader role and share leadership with the team members from time to time and when the situation so demands.

 

  1. Give credit to the team

Many times team leaders and managers blame the team when something goes wrong. However they forget to praise the team when it has performed well. Lack of appreciation can lead to unsatisfied employees and reduced productivity. Virtual team leaders should give credit to the team when it has achieved goals and motivate them to be even more productive.

 

Summary

Considering the complex market scenario, the work of a virtual team leader is more important than ever, and he or she is required to utilize all skills necessary to make their teams productive.  Team leaders should try to educate themselves and pick up useful pointers to streamline work processes and improve ROIs for their organizations.

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Tweet About How You Create Power — and WIN !!

by Wendy Soon on February 21, 2017

Every day you are relating to people and having conversations in the language of power. This language is spoken in social cues and behaviors that are key to establishing great relationships and influencing others. How to read this language of power, and how do you control it and create power to you advantage?

And before we listen to what Richard Cox has to say about creating power, what about yourself? How do YOU create power, status and authority? Short and sweet does the work! Remember, in just 6 words, no more and no less. Multiple entries are allowed for description of multiple teams you are involved in. And you can win amazing prizes. We promise you – it’s A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. We’ll be announcing winners on the day of our next meetup on 23rd Feb 2017 (Thur) – where Richard Cox from Stanford GSB speaks about creating authentic power in startups!

How to Submit: Think hard and think long, get creative or get real! Make a statement or just have fun. Submit your great idea. Use the format:
Startup Name: [I create power by _ _ _ _ _ _] #igniter6Word #IgniterSV @vorkspace

Tweet

Examples:
Vorkspace: I create power by making use of social cues around #igniter6Word #IgniterSV @vorkspace
Vorkspace: I create power by slowly gaining trust of my people #igniter6Word #IgniterSV @vorkspace
You think you can do better than that? We will see. Start Tweeting now! And remember, share your tweets and get as many of your friends to retweet them as possible, to increase your chances to win! No limits to the number of entries submitted per person. Contest ends Feb 23rd, 7pm PDT. Winners will be announced at our next meetup with Richard Cox. (winners must be present at the meetup to redeem prizes).

Prizes: Winners with the best ideas will be selected based on the number of “retweets” and “favorites” of your idea, as well as our internal panel of judges.

Winners will receive the following attractive prizes!

 

And not to be missed:

Event: Hacking Your Power with Entrepreneurs, by Richard Cox

Date: 23rd Feb 2017 (Thurs)

RSVP: HERE

 

About the Speaker:

Rich Cox challenges leaders, groups and companies to stretch farther and achieve more. He helps world leaders and change-makers inspire others to action. He unlocks the creative genius in entrepreneurs and teams so they can go out and dent the universe. He enables leaders to find their authentic voice and stand up as their most powerful selves. He transforms organizations into resilient cultures that thrive and adapt.Rich founded People Rocket, A Management Design Firm, combining Business, Academics, Arts, and Design to brings a fresh, innovative, design-fueled approach to sustainably increase the performance of people, teams and cultures. Rich coaches executives, leaders and teams at organizations such as the Clinton Global Initiative, Istanbul 2020 Olympic Bid Committee, TEDx, Mozilla, Google, Cisco, and JP Morgan Chase.

Rich is a Lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and teaches at the Stanford Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school). He is also a Guest Lecturer at London Business School and Aalto University in Helsinki.In addition, Rich is an improv performer and coach. His improv troupe, Fully Improvised, performed full length plays in the style of David Mamet, and musicals in the style of Stephen Sondheim. He integrates improv tools and mindsets into his work on creativity, innovation and leadership on organizational stages around the world as a speaker and consultant.

He has walked from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail and now lives in San Francisco with his dog Ali.

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Free Igniter Annual Premium Membership!

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