VTeams - Building Virtual Work Teams

In today's business environment, time and/or distance are often a challenge for getting people together.  To meet this challenge: build Virtual Teams where email lists and discussion groups can take the place of frequent face-to-face meetings.  Not only are time and expense saved, but more individuals within the organization can participate.   The teams can be built around common interests and/or experience.  And VTeams can be used throughout the planning process, not just in the implementation phase.   Agreement to a shared vision is possible, as well as meeting the barriers to successful planning.


One successful use of Virtual Teams is to have a moderator assigned to each team.   The role of the moderator is to ensure that the team objectives (set by the planning team) are  being met and to keep the team focused and moving forward.   The planning team should determine a minimum membership list from the stakeholder groups that are impacted by the Virtual Team.  If active membership falls below the minimum from any area, the moderator should recruit additional members.  Forward progress should be encouraged through seeding discussion topics in the discussion groups and announcing the topics through email lists.  As the Virtual Team objectives are met the moderator should report back to the planning team on whether the VTeam is still needed. 

Often the VTeam can  be used as a jumping off point for the next phase of the planning process.  If this is the case, it is important to have the planning team draft a new set of VTeam objectives and encourage new membership to gain further organizational involvement.     

And don't forget: much of the work of the planning team can be accomplished virtually!


Virtual Team Resources

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Transformative Networking connecting change leaders to enable self-organized grassroots change.

Next Steps While still conceptual, transformative networking offers the possibility of leading change through the networking of those already interested or involved in similar initiatives, effectively tearing down existing silos of practice that exist across disciplines and fields of work.  The next step is to develop a proof of concept built on the theoretical underpinnings above, possibly using Google Wave as the collaboration platform.  Included will be identifying the minimal structure and governance required to enable self-organization within the network while not constraining what might emerge.  Join this initiative and help create the future of organizing - networking communities of interest.

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Last modified: July 19, 2009