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Virtual Teams: People Working Across Boundaries with Technology Hardcover – September 13, 2000
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From the Inside Flap
"Virtual teams and networks?effective, value-based, swiftly reconfiguring, high-performing, cost-sensitive, and decentralized?will profoundly reshape our shared world. As members of many virtual groups, we will all contribute to these ephemeral webs of relationships that together weave our future." ?from Virtual Teams, Second Edition
There are no such things as boundaries in today?s work environment. Virtual teams from all over the world use technologies like the Internet, intranets, and groupware to work together on projects?but the major drawback to these teams is their high failure rate. Virtual Teams examines the numerous problems that arise and provides you with proven techniques to solve them.
Written by the two leading experts in networked organizations, this Second Edition shows you how to effectively start, implement, and maintain virtual teams in your own organization. Lipnack and Stamps present a comprehensive framework that makes virtual teams accessible and practical, describing the best practices to use in order to make your group excel.
The authors present the 90/10 Rule, which stresses how a virtual team?s success is based 90% on the people involved and 10% on the technology. They also take you through the seven steps that every team must complete in order to achieve their results. These include:
- Creating a team identity
- Drafting a mission statement and setting goals
- Determining milestones and establishing a schedule
- Identifying team members and their roles
- Choosing the appropriate media
Along with the authors? experiences, case studies from Sun Microsystems, Shell Oil, Pfizer, Motorola, Ernst & Young, and others are integrated throughout, offering insights from key executives on virtual teams and adapting to the virtual workplace.
With its in-depth look at this increasingly important way to work, Virtual Teams, Second Edition gives you the tools you?ll need to create and build a winning virtual team for your own organization.
From the Back Cover
Praise for the First Edition of Virtual Teams
"If you want to see where organizational communications are going in the future, heed what these pioneers have written today."
—Howard Rheingold, author, The Virtual Community, and founder, Electric Mind
"Lipnack and Stamps have written an important book for the twenty-first-century corporation."
—Regis McKenna, The McKenna Group, author, Relationship Marketing
"This book provides a long overdue perspective on how to apply the discipline of real teams in the fast-moving, increasingly dispersed information age of the future."
—Jon R. Katzenbach, author, The Wisdom of Teams
"For those who want to lead the movement, catch up with it, or simply know where it is going, this book is packed with useful information and interesting stories."
—Dee W. Hock, founder and chairman emeritus, VISA
"Virtual Teams provides valuable insights into global teamwork and management through network technologies now available to all companies, large or small."
—Jim Lynch, director, corporate quality, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
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The authors organize their excellent material within 14 chapters whose individual titles indicate each chapter's perspective on virtual teams: Why, Networks, Teams, Trust, Place, Time, Purpose, people, Links, Launch, Navigate, Theory, Think, and Future. I agree that a virtual team "is a group of people who work interdependently with a shared purpose across space, time, and organization boundaries." Nonetheless, I still have some quibbles about the authors' sequence of subject matter (not with the content itself) and am still convinced that cooperation between and among members of virtual teams is even more difficult than it is between and among those within physical boundaries. Moreover, my own rather extensive experience with all manner of corporate clients suggests that the most formidable barriers are between two ears. If you have some serious human barriers in your own organization, I urge you to check out O'Dell and Grayson's immensely thoughtful and practical book, If Only We Knew What We Know.
But please keep in mind that even if O'Dell, Grayson, Lipnack, and Stamps were retained to create virtual teams for your organization, unless and until everyone else involved buys into the enterprise, the results would be abysmal. Hence the importance of several points which Lipnack and Stamps make in the final chapter, notably the absolutely essential need for trust. "A presumption of trust enables a successful strategy of collaboration [enables everyone involved] to be better innovators, competitors, and survivors....If purpose is the glue, trust is the grease." I agree.
Of course, no single volume such as this can provide all the right answers but Lipnack and Stamps raise most (if not all) of the most important questions. Their answers seem sensible and practical. Of course, decision-makers must decide what the nature, extent, and duration of a virtual relationship should be in their organization at any given time. The authors do provide an excellent source of information and insight which can help virtually (pun intended) any organization increase cooperation and collaboration across boundaries through the effective use of various technologies. Especially, in this age of accelerating globalization, most organizations need all the help they can get.