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"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" Guy de Maupassant

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Pics from my trip - old and new friends

I have lots to blog about Pop!tech and my trip - for starters a series of pics - 

   Pop!tech dinner at the Owl's Head Transportation Museum at Rockport, Maine :A picture named us trip 104.jpg










   Teddy and Stuart playing :A picture named us trip 101.jpg










   Shannon Clark and Jerry Michalski :A picture named us trip 105.jpg










   Blogger's dinner at Pop!tech :A picture named us trip 074.jpg

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Meeting Bill Ives and Judith in Boston - i emailed Bill to say i was in his city for a day and we met up for lunch - Judith who happened to be in Boston too for VON met us and we had a great time discussing blogs and online collaboration :A picture named ustrip 064.jpg










Dinner with Judith and Jim McGee in Boston - Judith said Jim's in town - lets call him and meet up - was a lovely evening and really special chatting with Jim who is really sharp, vibrant and full of energy !A picture named ustrip065.jpg










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More global virtual conversations

Why do i feel like i have been given a heads up and a kick on my butt at the same time that says get going girl ! But seriously, its a wonderful opportunity - one i could never have dreamed up myself. Thanks, Stuart !

Conversations - Another World

"What methods are available for bringing more international conference content to America? For me an important theme running across Pop!Tech was the global world. While we had a few foreign presenters and participants in the audience there really weren't many. There were plenty of excursions to 'foreign" places, many maps that looked similar, and yet these interpretations were "researchers" rather than Brazilians, Africans, Asians, etc. I know the message got out and for cost reasons is a difficult task for conference organizers. Still I know Andrew Zolli wants suggestions for next year. Dina blogged the problem very succinctly below after we watched the Bhutan presentation. I believe Dina could also be part of the solution.

Dina has been working on an ethnography project around India for the last year. Dig a little deeper and you learn she also has a talented sister Sherna Dastur whose last film won some international prizes. So my suggestion would be to find a small sum - sponsorship for these two to document 12 "India Changing" insights, captured in local language, with a linked commentary. Creating stories though a more impartial lens. An element of human voices and the more gritty side of some of the challenges.

This just seems like the right opportunity to me. Comment on Dina's blog and make her write a proposal for next year. How's that as a plug for a blogging buddy?

There are some other possibilities for Pop!Tech conversations too. I was just amazed at the number of people that had been there more than 5 times... some 8! Many of this core community was local. I'd think that they could provide a very interesting commentory on change too. Clearly this conference has a life. Some of these we got in the very well organized lunches which grouped us nicely together with different people at different cafe's. Still I'd really like more opportunities to find the real nuggets of wisdom in the crowd. I realize that I missed meeting so many neat people."

I spoke about virtual teams in an earlier post today - it DOES work :):):)

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Thought for the Day .... Intuit

"If doubt is challenging you and you do not act, doubts will grow. Challenge the doubts with action and you will grow. Doubt and action are incompatible." -- John Kanary

7:47:34 PM    comment []  trackback []

Virtual Global Teams

Fast Company Now points to a study on Global Teams. Here's Ross Mayfield's take on the post - Productivity in far-flung teams :

"University of North Carolina professor of information and technology management Arvind Malhotra studied 54 global virtual teams in 31 companies, from Intel to Royal Dutch Shell, with a suprising finding:

These virtual teams, largely composed of people who have never met, were not only productive but also more innovative than "face-to-face teams."

"They make decisions faster with more input from others and develop policies that are implemented worldwide with fewer problems than conventional teams," said Malhotra.

His research also dispells myths of virtual teams:

Myth: Far-flung teams are deployed to save money on travel. Truth: High-performing global teams are measured on faster, better responses to rapidly changing environments.

Myth: Far-flung teams require hands-off leadership.
Truth: These teams require communication-intensive leaders. These team leaders check in on each of their members frequently, mentor them, and establish and communicate team norms.

Myth: Global team leaders don't deal directly with diversity.
Truth: Far-flung team leaders handle diversity purposefully, recognizing it early in the team's life cycle and leveraging it throughout the team's life cycle.

Myth: Face-to-face meetings are required early in a far-flung team's life cycle to build trust.
Truth: Global teams build trust through a planned team communication strategy and frequent in-process, team-tuning sessions mostly without ever meeting.

Myth: Given the restrictions of time and space differences, far-flung teams are best served by allocating one task to every member.
Truth: Far-flung teams build trust and simulate intellectual growth by pairing diverse members into subteams that perform highly interdependent tasks."

This is consistent with our experience that working virtually is simply more productive and innovative."

This is good to read as I find myself working increasingly in global teams.  In my experience, success is not driven only because of time and cost efficiencies, nor is it simply driven by tasks performed.  It comes from the ability to embrace diversities making for better innovation, it depends upon how the team/s are set up to motivate each other and build upon interdependencies, it relies on the collective power of the team.  And finally on trust that allows the team to manage the uncertainty and complexity of virtual collaboration.   

I found a paper that discusses Communication and trust in global virtual teams - and explores whether trust can exist in global virtual teams;  how trust might be developed in a team and what communication behaviors might facilitate trust in global virtual teams. 

Although the paper highlights the importance of social communication on building trust and therefore efficiencies in virtual teams, it is an old paper based on research done over 6 years ago. I wonder how that might have changed today with social software. What does social software mean in the context of where we work and how we work ? How will our workplaces and social interactions metamorphosize (is this a word?) and transform with adoption of such tools ? What frameworks can we use to examine the differences in the nature of trust, modes of communication and workspaces across different types of virtual teams ? 

7:40:39 PM    comment []  trackback []