Secrets of leading productive remote teams

High-functioning remote teams don't just happen. You need a plan to ramp up your team’s virtual productivity.

Leading remote teams  >  A businessman virtually works with a distributed network of teams.
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As organizations around the world are adjusting to working from home, leaders want to know how they can look after their teams.  Ultimately the goal is to get to full productivity as soon as possible but that isn’t likely to happen without a plan.  My team has been operating 100% virtually for 15+ years.  I’ll share some of our learnings below, but before I do that I want to ask you to look at your own organization and ask this question about your leadership team: Who is your work-from-home expert?  Who is the leader with the highest functioning team in this new environment? 

I ask this question at the outset because anything I share with you from my experience will have to be modified for your culture, size, available technology, security requirements, etc.  Why not start by looking for your expertise internally?  You can find this leader by looking for the markers of a highly functioning team such as clear roles, deliverables, metrics, outputs and their capacity to both get their own jobs done and be in a position to help others.  They are probably talking on a regular basis via web meetings (because there is no “water cooler” to stand around) and they are probably sharing best practices and helping each other troubleshoot the new challenges coming up every day.  They also likely have an idea of who could cover if one or more of them gets sick and can’t work for a period of time.

Once you identify that person, you can ask him or her to deconstruct what they are actually doing to maintain a high-functioning virtual team.  Then you can ask them to transfer their knowledge on the topic to the leaders who need help.  As is true with a lot of experts, your work-from-home guru probably does the job fairly instinctively and may need some prompts to deconstruct their magic. 

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