As we all know, managing people is hard. This is because each individual has a different and very specific set of skills, experience, education, viewpoints and beliefs. And in most cases, people work together on teams that bring together diverse personalities and skill sets.
Incrementally then, we can assume that if managing people is hard, managing teams is harder still.
Teams drive organizational progress. Yet forming and leading high-performance teams is one of the most complex challenges facing any leader.
This becomes even more difficult when your teams are:
- Cross functional
- Globally dispersed across different locations and time zones
- Multi-generational (Net Gens, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers)
- Culturally diverse
The growing trend is toward a new virtual world of team work - using new web 2.0 tools to connect distributed and mobile team members over the internet. By leveraging tools like messaging, blogs, forums and wiki's... teams can dramatically reduce the need for so many face to face meetings; conference calls and and emails. It also cuts down on expensive travel costs and allows team members to collaborate, communicate and share vital information regardless of where they might be in the world at any moment.
Providing teams with the right tools to work together as part of a high performance team should be a mission critical activity for any organization - big or small. In parallel, management needs to foster a work culture that values, cultivates and even rewards team collaboration. True to the Web 2.0 philosophy, the values of collaboration and cooperation lie at the heart of today's high performance teams.
Tune into my next blog for some tips on how to use social software to foster your high performance teams.
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