Bridging the Distance: Strategies that Improve the Performance of Global and Inclusive Virtual Teams

90-minute Workshops

Day 3

Session Code: S6-G
When: April 12, 2018
Location/Room: 200 F
Level: Intermediate
Track: Leadership Development
Presenter: Lee S. Johnsen, Partners in Development


By 2020, it is estimated that 62 percent of employees are expected to work in virtual teams, making them possibly the single most important way that companies prioritize and coordinate work today. Based on a worldwide research study of over 1,500 respondents experienced in virtual teamwork, leading cross-cultural teams is in the top 10 global leadership development competencies needed today.

Navigating the complexities of global business exceeds those of familiar domestic practices. Yet, the practices of leading onsite teams fall short of the leadership required for dispersed teams, both domestically and internationally. How prepared are your leaders to meet the challenges of leading in a global marketplace? How prepared are you to help them? We can do better.

While traditional leadership practices still provide a foundation, leaders of global virtual teams must also address the complexities of time, distance, technology, and cultural differences inherent in their teams. Oftentimes, organizational strategies and structures have not evolved to keep pace attracting, retaining, and engaging a diverse and inclusive mobile workforce.

This session introduces a model, tools, and best practices used to assess and guide leaders to succeed in the global marketplace. Participants will explore performance support resources that direct leaders through the phases of Plan, Prepare, and Produce to achieve Results with their global virtual teams. Within each of these phases are tools to assist leaders in analyzing team business drivers and challenges, understanding the critical success components of virtual teams, and coaching their team members. Other tools prepare and guide team leaders to proactively create team unity and trust, no matter how globally or culturally dispersed are their teams.

Participants will leave this session armed with resources and renewed potential to lead a virtual team as well as serve as a valuable partner to other global virtual team members and leaders to enhance their teams’ performance.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify some of the research-based challenges faced by global virtual teams and articulate the need to boost the performance of globally virtual teams. Analyze a virtual team based on the complexities of time, distance, culture, and the interdependence (complexity and reliance) among team members.
  • Identify the eight Critical Success Components for global virtual teams. Discuss the impact these components have on teams in your (or your clients’) organization. Consider the impact these components have on your team leaders, members, and their results.
  • Apply a model for long-distance leadership to your virtual team or other teams you support that will increase their potential of achieving high performance.

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