It's out! Virtual Team Success from Darleen Derosa and Richard Lepsinger is good stuff, based on research, and written by people who've been thinking about this topic for a while. We liked it so much that we wrote the Foreword.
And here's our Foreword:
When Darleen asked us to write the foreword to her book, we were immediately inclined to do so. With a Ph.D. in organizational psychology for which she wrote a dissertation on virtual teams and subsequently having conducted two substantial research studies on the topic as a management consultant, she has the bona fides to write authoritatively on the subject.
That Darleen and her co-author and business partner, Rick Lepsinger, have chosen to tackle the sore spot of virtual teams—why they fail—is testament to their expertise, energy, and insight.
A decade ago Darleen’s earliest work in this field was a research study of how “naturally” virtual teams perform over time using different kinds of media. While the technology studied then seems primitive by today’s standards, her foresight in tackling this topic when few others were considering it is laudable. Technology, she concluded, plays a role but other factors in real work settings may prove equally or more important.
She continued her work in the putative “real world” as a management consultant, teaming up with Rick, and ultimately leading to this comprehensive examination of what trips up virtual teams and what leaders can do about it.
Here you will find numerous research-based “devices” for clearing the hurdles that virtual teams present. It’s not enough in a 24/7 global work environment to take the old face-to-face techniques and apply them when people are not co-located. Failed projects and missed deadlines in countless organizations indicate that we need new ways to work. The demands of contemporary work environments—distributed, asynchronous, multicultural, and without the benefit of hallway time—require us to think—and behave—differently.
The many frameworks, guidelines, checklists, and recommendations in this book will make life easier for the newest managers, those leading virtual teams. There’s no school for this yet but when the first is established, Virtual Success: A Practical Guide for Working and Leading from a Distance will certainly be the core curriculum.