Friday, November 7, 2008

The Six Cs of Global Collaboration

In working on - and coaching - global virtual teams (GVTs), I identified three major challenges magnified by distances and difference: team member isolation,team fragmentation, and confusion. Turning these challenges on their heads, GVT team leaders and members must work hard (usually harder than in face-to-face teams) to generate high levels of engagement, cohesion, and clarity. How? Studying these teams led me to six GVT performance zones, or what I call the Six C's of Successful Global Collaboration. Let me give you brief definitions of what they are:
Cooperation:Ability to develop and maintain trusting relationships across geographies, time zones, and cultures
Convergence:Ability to establish and maintain clear navigational markers in virtual space, e.g., common purpose and strategy, shared priorities and performance measures
Coordination:Ability to synchronize work across distances through establishing common platforms, processes, and tools (as well as clearly defined GVT roles and responsibilities)
Capability:Ability to build team capability through leveraging the knowledge, skills, and experiences of GVT members across all locations
Communication:Ability to establish shared verbal and written understandings across distances via technology
Cultural Intelligence: Ability to develop and maintain an inclusive virtual workspace environment

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