Go Virtual or Lose Your Ability to Compete
A couple years ago, I made a decision that went sharply against the grain. I forced office hours on my staff.
My decision caught a few staffers and colleagues off-guard. After all, I’m the one who has long advocated for workplace flexibility and greater trust as the foundation of our professional relationships. But I felt the size of my firm and its fast growth required face-to-face contact to strengthen our culture. The push back I got made me start to research the larger issue of managing employee performance in the virtual workplace. But office hours remained in force.
With the research now well underway, I have to confess: I was wrong. To help me make amends, I hope you can join me for a webcast on December 5 at 12 noon EST. I promise to help you make your virtual teams hold their own or even outperform co-located teams.
You'll learn from the experiences of pioneers who took real arrows for their virtual efforts but now enjoy a real advantage. IBM eliminated its regional offices years ago only to learn that “tacit knowledge” was not being transferred readily among its employees. Such informal learning often makes up the lion’s share of what we need to know to do our jobs. But with spontaneous conversations at the water cooler and after-work drinks with the team at the local Bennigan’s no longer a frequent occurrence, IBM employees had fewer opportunities to discuss common problems and trade “war stories” of how they overcame difficult challenges. Where staff once joked that IBM stood for “I've been moved,” the acronym in their jokes changed to "I'm by myself.'" In the new virtual world: "Internet's best meetings."
In the current phase of our research, just completed, we investigated fundamentals of the virtual workplace. The results and insights have been based on our own expertise and experience, as well as a series of interviews conducted with dozens of scientists and researchers. We stand on giant virtual shoulders, as you'll learn during the webcast.
Join us. And bring your questions! We'll share our best insights and very specific tips on how to manage by the new people rules of the increasingly virtual world. But we hope a few of your questions result in us scratching our head and promising to get back to you, even as we provide a number of managerial best practices for the virtual workplace.
The virtual workplace is here to stay. That’s why we initially launched this research project and why we are committed to continuing it for years to come. We are learning how the virtual workplace has enabled the flattening of organizational structures and requires new types of leadership. We can share our initial findings on how to manage virtual partnerships among companies. And we will show how employee relationships are changing in fundamental ways. The virtual workplace is an undeniable reality of corporate life. Join us, and learn how to get better at managing it. At stake is nothing less than our ability to compete.
Go Virtual or Lose Your Ability to Compete « Keith Ferrazzi