#ASTD2014 W206 - Creating Highly Functional Virtual Teams

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on May 4, 2014 10:41:34 AM
Jennifer Hofmann

ASTD_2014Join me at the ASTD 2014 International Conference

W206 - Creating Highly Functional Virtual Teams
Wednesday May 7 10:45 am - 12:00 pm
Ballroom B

 This presentation will cover the best practices of creating and maintaining effective virtual teams. I will share examples from my experience with my own virtually based organization to share what I feel are the key items to do and consider when forming virtual teams.

Since its inception in 2000, InSync Training has always been a virtual organization. In 2013, with a team of more than 50 professionals working all over the world from their own homes, InSync was featured in Inc. magazine as the 10th fastest-growing education company in the United States—and it’s all because of virtual teams. 

Why is this topic important for L&D professionals?

As companies grow and change with technology, the probability increases that a professional will participate in or lead a virtual team. It is important to be prepared for the changes in order to be successful.

Besides working virtually, team members are learning virtually. These two skills go hand in hand. If we can teach our participants how to learn in a virtual format, they also will become better virtual team members.

This being said, organizations are still wary of team members that work virtually—cautious of the need to keep people close especially during times of change. But virtual teams do work if everyone is willing to contribute to its success. 

Top three takeaways from this presentation:

1) It is important to use the appropriate and available technology to minimize the distance impact.

2) Communication must happen on a regular basis, and team members that "don’t fit" need to be identified early on.

3) It is important to find a cohesive group of team members that areindependent, but also interdependent.




Can a virtual team be as effective as a colocated team? This is a question that organizations are debating, and the arguments on both sides are very compelling. Factors like work-life balance and organizational savings need to be balanced with the value of face-to-face collaboration and managerial oversight. 

Whether you personally embrace the concept or not, chances are you will participate as a virtual team member during your career. The reality is, a virtual team can be very effective if the correct conditions are met and maintained. It's about putting together the right personalities, ensuring they have the right tools, and leading the team successfully. After discussing the arguments for and against establishing a virtual team, this workshop will use real life examples to address six key enablers for success. 

At the conclusion of the session, you will be able to: 
• Identify the profile of an effective virtual team and its players. 
• Know how to engage existing team members when selecting new team members. 
• Confirm the right technologies and processes are in place to ensure success. 
• Create inter-reliability, trust, and teamwork. 
• Identify and manage issues before they become destructive. 
• Establish credibility while maintaining the right balance of oversight and empowerment. 
• Create team-building opportunities across the distance.Form a virtual team. 
Enable a virtual team. 
Maintain a virtual team. 
Lead and reward a virtual team.

Global Human Resource Development

Learning Approach:

Target Audiences:
Internal Practitioner

Event Topic:
Senior Leaders

Topics: Conferences