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A Manager's Guide to Virtual Teams Hardcover – August 17, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“…an indispensable source of the best information for forming, managing, and continuing the effectiveness of virtual work teams.” --Blog Business World

“…excellent primer on creating a virtual team that is productive, effective, and cost efficient…ought to be required reading for company executives.” --Inland Empire Business Journal

"...a virtual roadmap for team managers who want to make nearly unlimited access to global talent gel in reality.” --IIE Industrial Engineer magazine

“…a must-read for anyone who works virtually or interacts with others who work virtually. And these days, that seems to be just about everyone.” --CIO Digest

Book Description

With an increasing number employees working remotely, it is more difficult than ever to ensure that team members are working smoothly and productively together. A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams is a practical roadmap for bridging the logistical, cultural, and communication gaps that can prevent any virtual team from reaching its full potential. The book explores the four most critical elements to team success:

• Trust and Accountability. Ten tips for creating trust within and across virtual teams

• Communication. The particular challenges of the virtual world, especially in cross-cultural collaborations

• Conflict Management. Examples, case scenarios, and resolution strategies

• Deliverables. How virtual teams can get their work “out the door” faster and better

A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams features the author’s proprietary Trust Wheel model, which includes powerful tools to help teams develop and ensure trust without face-to-face interaction. Filled with self-study exercises, activities, and advice based on the author’s 20 years’ consulting experience, this book can help any organization realize the promise of professionals working closely together—even if they’ve never met.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (August 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814416594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814416594
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Yael Zofi is an author, facilitator, coach, consultant, professor, trainer, and CEO of AIM Strategies®, Applied Innovative Management®, a human capital consulting firm focused on developing global leaders, managing virtual teams and facilitating cross cultural communications. With 20+ years of consulting experience, she works with leaders and teams on transformational initiatives that improve their bottom line and enable stronger human connection in the workplace. Her clients include AT&T, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan Chase, CIGNA, General Electric, Nokia, Pfizer, Philips and Viacom.

She has written numerous articles and authored four books on related management topics: A Manager's Guide to Virtual Teams, Communicating Through a Global Lens; Work Your Network; TOPS Managing Up.

Ms. Zofi is a frequent guest speaker to professional organizations, business societies, and board groups, and has served on the faculty of New York University since 1995. Most recently she taught Virtual Teasms and Global Communications with the Paul McGhee Division. Yael has been featured in Forbes, Business Week, Halogen Talent Management, All Business, Entrepreneur and Bloomberg.com. Her latest book, A Manager's Guide to Virtual Teams, was released last year.

She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and two daughters and loves learning and adventure. For further information, visit www.aim-strategies.com or email: yael@aim-strategies.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Honestly, the only thing I can believe is that the other people who reviewed this book were employees or friends of the author, because this book is a waste of time. It is the kind of business-fluff that does not even rise to the level of common sense that passes for insight in all too many business books out there. Really, it's important to remember that technology is not a goal in itself but meant to facilitate business? Shocker. Really, even smart people don't work well together sometimes? I had no idea. If you're looking for a book that does more than repeat canned mantras that you've known for years, keep looking, because this isn't it..
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Format: Hardcover
It's a good thing too because it is the only such map of the virtual world out there today to my knowledge. This is truly an exceptional book on a surprisingly nuanced topic by Yael Zofi. She covers every aspect of virtual teams so clearly, concisely and comprehensively.

As a co-founder of Desktop Anywhere in 2001 I am a long time believer of the huge benefits and profound opportunities available to those who best leverage this new Digital World. I also know how challenging such a change is for businesses and the people behind them.

On the surface it might seem that moving to Virtual Teams is not so different than managing people pretty much like you do now. I can tell you from years of experience that this is not the case. Many of the same dynamics that are so critical to collaboration are highly amplified when you add the virtual element. Team dynamics like authenticity, credibility and trust need to be planted, farmed and harvested differently than teams physically together. Your results with virtual teams will reflect your preparation and execution and winging it is not a good strategy.

And Virtual Workers are "Green" too. The more we have our teams work effectively free from location constraints the less infrastructure, oil, electricity, office space, etc. that we will use. Work/life balance can be greatly improved too. There will even be less congestion on the highways.

This does not mean that going to virtual teams means sub par results. On the contrary, managed correctly, results can be significantly improved when the execution is correct. One of my favorite teams used Web meetings when we were in the same office just a wall away from each other.
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Format: Hardcover
This book provides clear, systematic and useful guidance to every management phase, from set-up to close-down. Yael Zofi's approach focuses heavily on the human side of leading teams. There's a wealth of valuable practical information about dealing with the softer side of management, such as motivation or even dealing with multitasking. Her strategies for building trust and commitment among team members by emphasizing positive communication and formalizing the rules by which teams will engage with another are described in detail. They are also supported by numerous examples, case studies and feedback from practitioners. I especially appreciated the chapters on accountability and conflict resolution. This book is an essential "must-have" tool for anyone leading a virtual team!
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Format: Hardcover
Already in the middle of the 20th century, when deeply affected by the destruction caused by two World Wars, Erich Fromm was genuinely concerned with the threats of technology and people's ability to evolve to their full potential in a technological world. On the one hand, such worries make sense: this ominous machine-like world, fraught with technology and gadget wizardry might drown human creativity and develop dependency on mechanical efficiency on the expense of intimacy and face-to-face interactions, as Chaplin demonstrated so masterfully in Modern Times (1936). On the other hand, innovative technologies could actually be very powerful in encouraging and stimulating people to collaborate and learn from others in new and creative ways unimaginative before. When properly used and prudently guided, technology has the potential of connecting people across cultures and disciplines and lift them beyond their habitual way of thinking. In A Manager's Guide to Virtual Teams Yael Zofi adheres to the latter scenario. Focusing on working with virtual groups, the author navigates very diligently through every challenge virtual teams may encounter, and she does that in a simple, practical, concise and comprehensive way to ensure effective teamwork. Rich with real-world case studies, activities, and advice grounded in the Zofi's 20 years' consulting experience, this book can assist any leader to realize the potential of professionals working in different parts of the world. Although many of the dynamics discussed in this book are critical to understand for any successful collaborative work, working virtually requires extra awareness of expected hurdles, and careful planning to cultivate authenticity, credibility and trust among those who do not share office space but nevertheless aspire to achieve team effectiveness.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My role as a facilitator for a number of teams caused me to read Yael Zofi’s book, A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams. A number of sections helped me directly in the initial team calls and being more deliberate in my collaboration efforts to provide more focus for the teams. While working on a new process for the company I work at, her recommendations on international factors led me to reach out differently than I would have normally to the international stakeholders for this new process. As a result I had much higher engagement, more honest feedback, and buy-in for the development of the process.
Treating team members as “customers” has provided me a different perspective in the preparation for my team interactions and helps me to listen more effectively, particularly on conference calls and team meetings. Doing so is helping me frame my discussions and non-verbal aspects (when meeting face-to-face) in a way that puts more emphasis and value on "them" and less on my process or me. The impact is less stress, higher collaboration and better solutions.
I have recommended Yael’s book on Virtual Teams to the other managers I deal with to help them manage more effectively with their “virtual” teams as well as be more deliberate with their local reports.

Operational Excellence Team Leader
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