Archive | Team Performance

Who You Calling Virtual? Leading a Virtual Team

It's not about the virtual, it's about the team.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: there’s no such thing as a virtual team. They’re only called virtual teams because members are distributed across organization boundaries, time zones, and countries. And the virtual piece isn’t the problem at all. It’s a red herring.

People like to blame their problems with dispersed teams on the technology. They complain: “The WebEx froze halfway through our session” or “All I can hear is buzzing on the conference line.” Yes, these are problems. But, dear readers, many of you are tech people. You can figure it out.

The real problem is—and always has been—the team.

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Lessons from the Octopus: Business Ecosystems, Adaptability, and Change Leadership

A camouflaged octopus has much to teach organizations about thriving in business ecosystems. Image:

Why should companies care about octopuses? It turns out that there’s plenty to learn from these creatures about adaptability, change leadership, and business ecosystems.

Rafe Sagarin, author of Learning from the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease, is a fan of the octopus. Not only are these creatures highly intelligent and capable of problem solving, they also have the ability to camouflage in sophisticated ways. When moving from one area of the ocean to another, they rapidly change color to match their surroundings. To the human eye, it’s almost too fast to see: octopuses blend almost instantaneously with the fauna behind them.

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Measuring the Intangible through Organizational Networks

NBP - Social DWM

There are many ways to evaluate culture, collaboration, employee morale, team performance, and the impact of restructuring. But it’s difficult to measure all five at once without over-stressing the organization. The National Braille Press successfully used organizational networks and network analysis to evaluate its progress and identify simple but effective improvement actions. Read National Braille Press White Paper to find out how they did it.

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Speed Coaching: A Fun Jumpstart for Collaboration at Work

Speed Coaching

How can 40 people share expertise in meaningful ways in just 30 minutes? With speed coaching, of course! This staple from our training programs helps people gain real-time assistance with on-the-job challenges. It’s been used successfully in the financial services, pharmaceutical, insurance, technology, and education industries. This Speed Coaching article tells you exactly how to replicate speed coaching in your organization.

Check it out if you need an innovative, easy way to:

  • Break the ice during community of practice meetings.
  • Help people clear their heads and focus before beginning a meeting.
  • Solve small problems at the beginning of project team meetings.
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The Hidden Web: Inside the Organizational Networks that Drive Project Performance

No carrots, no sticks: Influencing without authority

Influencing without authority is one of the hardest skills to acquire. Yet there is a powerful tool that can help PMs understand how to influence effectively. Underneath organization charts and process maps are hidden informal networks: the webs of relationships that underlie all organization activity. People activate these webs in order to solve problems, gain expertise, and innovate. For years, we have known that these networks exist, but haven’t had the tools to leverage them properly. Today, thanks to advances in mathematics and technology, we now have the ability to scientifically identify, map, and analyze networks.

In this lively, interactive session, delivered in May 2010 to the Central Massachusetts Chapter of the PMI, PMs learned how to identify, nurture, and leverage these informal networks in order to boost project success rates.

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High Performance Team Workout: Partnering Resources introduces new service designed to boost team performance

The group has six months to come together and accomplish something challenging. Maybe it’s designing and rolling out a new project management methodology worldwide. Perhaps it’s pulling off the first large-scale user conference in the company’s history. Or maybe this group needs to create the next breakthrough product for the company. The stakes are high and failure is not an option.

Partnering Resources helps you transform individuals into a cohesive, high-performing team. Partnering Resources’ High Performance Team Workout leads your mission-critical team through a facilitated, proven process that gives your team what it needs to succeed. Read about how we implement a High Performance Team Workout for your organization.

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