First, an admission. I am behind on my book reading. WAY behind. So if you sent me a book (that I said I was interested in receiving) and wonder what's up, please stick with me. The gradual move to my temp apartment in Cincinnati and the new gig have thrown my reading schedule off.
One such book - and this is one I was really looking forward to reading - is Where in the World is My Team? by Terence Brake. This is a well done and much needed book for anyone dealing with the challenges of a geographically dispersed team.
OK, that is most everyone these days. Even if you work at a manufacturing plant, chances are you are regularly working with design engineers, sales or marketing people or vendors or call centers at other locations. This book will help you if your team is separated by a few miles or thousands of miles (it focuses on global team strategies, which all seem quite applicable to mildly dispersed teams).
And here is the bottom line. Terry offers up a simple but elegant model that will help you, dear managers, make sure you are not forgetting or inadvertently ignoring the basic practices that enhance global team performance.
Terry highlights three challenges facing dispersed teams: isolation, fragmentation, an confusion. I have seen these signs with teams separated by two floors! To combat these challenges, teams need to have high engagement, cohesion, and clarity. Yes, these are the right and important elements!
Then Terry drills down on these elements and offers specific and actionable advice for creating a culture that enables team excellence. These are broken into several categories like cooperation, convergence, coordination, capability, communication and cultural intelligence.
The model is simple - it is very clear - but it also covers a lot of ground. And it is evident that Terry knows his stuff by the examples and the specific suggestions he offers. he offers several drawings and pictures that help turn concepts into models and show the linkages between actions and results. If I could have had one wish, I would have liked to have seen even more drawings - hey, I am a simple girl and I like pictures. The books is a highly manageable 220 pages and has a nice synopsis and glossary at the end for people who like executive summaries and definitions.
If you manage teams, get this book. I think you will like it.
And BTW, as I was reading it, I could not help but think that this book PLUS Hip and Sage, would be a great double package to give every manager over the age of 40 who manages teams. If they read both books, and apply 1/10 of the suggestions found in each, they will be SO hip and SO effective as a manager in this new work world.