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Archive for July, 2012

Leading Virtual Teams – Blended Learning Infographic

Posted on July 30th, 2012 by The Learning Factor

Organisations are increasingly recognising the business benefits of combining bite-sized chunks of personalised content that can be delivered to the desktop in real-time with learning techniques such as shorter classroom-based training sessions and on-the-job line manager training.

Take a look at our Leading Virtual Teams Learning Pathway Infographic. With a mix of pre-work, a web-based session delivered by a facilitator, case study assignment, a face-to-face session and Action Learning Project, we are sure to provide solutions that are engaging, creative and have maximum business impact.

Don’t cut your training budgets; develop a leaner, more efficient training machine.

Click here to see the bite-sized steps in our Leading Virtual Teams program.

Time Management Keys from the World’s Busiest People

Posted on July 26th, 2012 by Chris Gaborit

Who could be busier than the CEO of Virgin, the President of the USA or the CEO of Apple? Sometimes I have this revelation that I have the same 1440 minutes every day that the busiest people in the world do and I go WOW! What could I learn from them? How could I improve my time management?

Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group

“I learned to delegate from a young age.…I try to exercise every day – whether it is a swim, a game of tennis or a kite-surf …. Manage the BlackBerry, don’t let it manage you….Speak to people – I do get a lot of emails every day and try to answer as many as I can; but I also believe that you need to speak to people. It can save you and them a lot of time….And write it down – I carry notebooks wherever I go to jot down thoughts and notes. You can’t beat pen and paper.”

President Dwight Eisenhower, President of the USA

“Most things which are urgent are not important, and most things which are important are not urgent.” The Eisenhower method is used successfully by many people today. All tasks are evaluated using the criteria important/unimportant and urgent/not urgent and put in according quadrants.

Steve Jobs, Apple Founder & CEO

“Say No to 1,000 Things” – Watching athletes prepare for the Olympic Games I see people who are living this very quote. They remain single minded, laser focused. They constantly have to say “No” to a thousand things to win their race and reach their goal. Steve Jobs was known for simplifying things. When he returned to Apple in 1997, he took their 300 products and reduced it to 10. This saved Apple from bankruptcy. In his personal life, Steve decided to wear the same outfit daily so he wouldn’t have to spend time thinking about his wardrobe.

By learning to delegate more, managing your emails, dealing with the urgent and learning to say ‘no’ we can successfully manage our time and still have some time to exercise and enjoy life.

If you’d like to see how well you are managing your time, why not take our free SELF ASSESSMENT.

12 Top Questions Managers Ask About Managing Virtual Teams

Posted on July 5th, 2012 by The Learning Factor

Creating effective virtual teams has proved to be more difficult for organisations than expected. Managers can’t simply create high-performance by assembling a virtual team and ‘letting it run’ for itself. Without careful structuring, support, and attention to processes, virtual teams may not even perform at a marginal level.

Over the years, we have conducted hundreds of training programs for managers at leading global organisations. We have been tracking some of the questions that managers consistently ask about their role when they need to start managing remote teams.  The following list summarises the most frequently asked question. See if any of these resonate with you:

  • How does remoteness change group and leadership behaviours?
  • What is the right balance of task and team focus?
  • What is the right balance of control and autonomy in the way we work together?
  • What causes divided loyalties, and what can we do about them?
  • Why do we need to be a team anyway?
  •  When should we communicate, and how often is enough?
  • How do I manage my team when the travel budget is cut?
  • When should I get face-to-face, and when is it better to avoid it?
  • How do I stay visible when I’m remote?
  • What’s the point in remote coaching? Isn’t it just more work when I don’t have the time?
  • How can I travel less without damaging my career and still get results from my remote team?
  • How can I accelerate the transfer of learning through my dispersed team?

IDC’s recent Worldwide Mobile Worker Population, 2011-2015 report paints a picture of a global workforce that’s marching inexorably toward mobility. Their forecast shows that the worldwide mobile worker population will increase from just over 1 billion in 2010 to more than 1.3 billion by 2015.

Senior leaders in organisations must now recognise the need to upskill their managers in the new world of work. Motivating a virtual team to perform is one of the key challenges managers get stuck on. Take a look at the discrepancies between the rankings people gave to motivating factors at work (1 being most important, 10 being least) and what their managers thought.

What managers thought

What team members

Work that keeps you interested

5

6

Job security

2

4

Tactful disciplining

7

10

Full appreciation of work done

8

1

Good wages

1

5

Sympathetic help on personal problems

9

3

Promotion and growth within the company

3

7

Feeing “in” on things

10

2

Personal loyalty to workers

6

8

Good working conditions

4

9

It is easy to see how virtual team management can be doomed for failure when there are such discrepancies on understanding motivation – a key basic function of a team management!

Organisations save a lot of grief and stress when they get it right from the start.

 

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