Building Trust across Boundaries
When virtual team leaders name their toughest challenge, one answer always pops to the top of the list: building trust. Or in some cases, it's rebuilding trust.
Building trust is hard for any team, but it is especially hard for virtual teams, whose members have few opportunities to interact personally. Virtual teams often evolve around projects, with people coming together and drifting away during different phases. When teams span different cultures, misunderstandings can crop up more frequently with virtual teams, and are much harder to detect, and can be awkward to address. Plus, virtual teams rarely allocate special time for relationship building. So when times are tough, it's almost impossible to drop everything for the kind of heart-to-heart talks that can repair relationships.
Communicating across Cultures
Margaret R. Lee
Culture and communication are linked by the ability to identify, understand, and apply cultural variables, described as cultural fluency. Cultural fluency should be a top priority for organizations with multicultural, international virtual projects. Individuals on project teams can represent a mix of different cultures, religions, competencies, ages, genders, and nationalities; and often this diversity can produce more innovations for the organization than a homogeneous team could produce.
Social Teams and Complexity
Wanda Curlee and Robert Lee Gordon
Entrepreneurial teams that will be able to embrace the growing strength of social networking will be the admired companies of the future. The social networking boom has been supported by the development of many different websites that offer to help people connect to others of similar background or interests. These social teams will be able to reach out to others in order to embrace a greater web of people who could become important stakeholders of the team. These networked people can assist in the development, planning, launch, or even sale of whatever product or project is underway. Consider the strength of having at hand the resources of a host of different individuals with varying backgrounds, all of which have an interest in a program. These people can serve as anything from cheerleaders to beta testers.
Also new this issue:
Why Green Works for Device Purchases
Bud E. Smith
Your purchases of devices for IT are a huge commitment—for your IT department and for your organization as a whole. There are many needs that devices need to meet, many agendas being carried out, and a lot of history contributing to every new decision. So suggesting that you "green" your device purchases may seem to be a big and, perhaps, unnecessary burden.
Of course, green is only one desirable goal for your device purchases. Luckily, following a green computing strategy for your IT devices will also result in improvements in how you meet your other purchasing drivers.