The aim of this book

What is the first thing you do when you start your working day? Most likely it is turning on your computer, logging in to your company´s virtual platform or checking your e-mails on your smartphone. Probably while reading this book you may be also receiving e-mails from your colleagues in China, or perhaps waiting to join a web-meeting with your US partners.

This new “working approach” of being constantly and easily reachable through different media has not only become a requirement for executives right across the world,  but it is also now a key priority for businesses of all shapes and sizes to be able to minimise cost structures in order to maximise return on capital. Virtual teams are one way of reducing travelling costs, while hiring top talent, irrespective of location in the world. And yet, despite these changes, so many managers continue to search for recommendations on how to make virtual working real.  And that is where this book comes into play. It consists of a unique compilation of different perspectives on virtual collaboration and virtual leadership, based on 8 years of research and more than 10 years’ of experience directly working with clients.  This experience involves working with teams focussing on international change management, strategy and team development – all projects with a strong focus on virtual collaboration.

The aim of this book is to provide you with a practical guide into the virtual world, from the perspective of a team member, as well as the team leader. In it, we share our practical experience in working with virtual teams, offering a wide range of useful tools and approaches for establishing, leading and facilitating successful geographically-dispersed teams.

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ELISA ALBERTO is partner at Doujak Corporate Development. Elisa’s work focuses on global change management projects; organizational transformation and culture change; development and implementation of change communication strategies; international collaboration and team development; in virtual as well as face to face settings. She also coaches managers and executives on intercultural challenges, from one-to-one coaching to designing and delivering multinational and virtual team building programs, as well as global leadership and intercultural trainings. She has extensive experience in the field of virtual teams and virtual collaboration and is also a certified virtual trainer. Originally from Italy, Elisa has lived in several countries: USA, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and currently lives in Munich, Germany.

CHRISTINE WAWRA is partner at Doujak Corporate Development. Her main areas of expertise are international change management and transformation projects as well as strategy development and implementation projects with a focus on leadership, involvement and communication. Christine is an expert in executive team development and coaching and the design and delivery or large group events. She has extensive experience in the field of virtual teams and virtual collaboration in terms of consulting and training. Born and raised in Austria, Christine has travelled around the globe for work assignments, as well as for pleasure: at the time of publishing this book, she has been to 44 countries on four continents, inspiring her work and her thinking for this book to a considerable degree.

MAKING VIRTUAL REAL

HOW TO LEAD GLOBAL TEAMS ACROSS DISTANCE
  • As a leader this book offers great tools in the initial stages of building a virtual team as well as for later on, when managing the team or assessing team performance

  • As a virtual team member, you will get ideas and insights about how cultural differences can affect how people communicate and understand each other in virtual meetings, as well as practical tips on virtual facilitation

  • As a consultant or virtual trainer, you will have a comprehensive guide that covers the most important aspects of virtual leadership, virtual collaboration and facilitation

We want to make the “virtual world” accessible for everybody.  Whether you are the dynamic virtual ‘expert’ who is constantly searching for new inspiration, or, at the other end of the learning spectrum,  the rather less experienced virtual manager who is still feeling rather lost in the ‘brave new world’ of leading across distance.  We wrote this book with our clients’ challenges in mind, providing a light combination of theory but always grounded in practice, and with an eye on what is realistic and feasible.  Our insights are drawn from years of experience of managing projects and people in the ‘real virtual world’ where building and maintaining relationships within teams is just as important as getting the job done, and where the virtual leader is likely to find herself rapidly becoming proficient in managing human emotions across distance as much as achieving targets within specified timelines and budgets.

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Do you have a general question? Do you have an inquiry about the book, virtual leadership coaching, virtual facilitation training, virtual team building, or an event key note speech?

"This book is a great tool for global leaders and anyone working virtually. If you want to take advantage of the virtual world, Making Virtual Real inspires with its practical approach and engaging real-life stories."
Dr. Ulrich Stephany, Head of Change Management, BMW Financial Services
“The book is an excellent guide to the Virtual World, accessible for everyone, from the experienced virtual facilitator to the manager that is starting to navigate the complexity of working virtually.”
Rudolf Repgen, Managing Director, IESE Business School
“Global leaders have to deal with a new complexity coming from working virtually and leading virtual teams. Making Virtual Real is a great guide that will help you to reflect on the leadership skills needed in this new virtual world!”

Stanislaus Turnauer, Owner and CEO Constantia Industries AG

"How to be able to constantly maintain trust and motivation when dealing with a virtual team made of 20 nationalities spread across 15 European countries? This has been my challenge for many years. ‘Making Virtual Real fosters understanding how to lead this kind of team and it´s a helpful tool to better manage international talents in any company".

Matteo Ferrazzi, Head of Strategy and Business Communication, Unicredit Group

"Whether you are part of a geographically dispersed team or leading a global team, Making Virtual Real provides you with easy-to-read information, tools, and techniques for successfully navigating across cultures and distance. Having the right technology in place will not make you an effective virtual team: you have to know how to use it and how to foster social interactions in the virtual space".

Eva Maria Bieda, Director Global Business Communication,  Dow Chemical Company