BLUF: I had a great F2F meeting with my whole team but are there any key points on keeping the feeling going. I did listen to the cast on virtual teams. Is there anything specific to having just been all together and overcome some barriers/mistrust?

:D First of all, I'd like to give a HUGE thanks to Mark & Mike for giving me the courage to really push for this? My team is in 3 locations and many had never met each other. I've only been their manager for 4 months now and this really helped me get them to start working as a team. A couple of specifics are:
1. I really pushed my boss to give me the budget to do this. She cut out one of her trips and I cut 2 of mine finally to get it in. I sent her links to the podcast and comments about how important it was a kept working on it.
2. I did the picture ice breaker and everyone LOVED it! This is a group of 16 that produces software (i.e. lots of high C's). But after awhile they got into it. They'd smirk and do the "Hi XXX" after the person said hello. But the stories around the pictures were great. They all commented that they didn't know they had some things in common. (A lot were runners/hikers/outdoor types.) There were all types of pictures. Once a person got talking, they seemed to get into it. We hung the pictures on the wall and guests coming in later in the week all stopped to look at them. Before/after/at breaks, people would wander and look at them. I took pictures of the pictures and posted them in our on-line team discussion forum. We had a internal transfer person who is starting this week but came in for the last day. The first comment was - "Hey, he has to do a picture!" - which he did.
3. There is some history of hidden conflict (read mis-trust) between various office which came together because of acquisitions. By the 2nd day, I heard them starting to question each other, say they disagreed but wanted to understand, etc. Before they would have been quiet and mumbled to their friends later!
4. Everyone said we have to find a way to do this next year even if it means giving something else up! They told their friends and it's gone around the organization how great it was. Even the really shy ones said that it was so much more than they expected. One high C said they expected it just to be a big group hug but it was great technically as well.

Now - I don't want to lose that feeling. Okay. It is going to drop off because they were pretty high. :( But I'd like to keep the trust building by quickly catching/challenging those pregnant silences, challenging people to pick up the phone instead of email, etc.. I have some thoughts but would appreciate any ideas from someone who has done this.

jhack's picture

Wow, great job, Sunshine!

The "Creating a Sense of Urgency" and "Teambuilding" casts have a really good set of techniques for keeping people on the ball.

You could ask folks in your one on ones about their interactions with the other offices. If you're asking every week, they'll be reaching out.


svgates's picture

[quote="jhack"]If you're asking every week, they'll be ...[/quote]

I hear it and hear it and hear it from Mike and Mark and the forum posts ... if I ever get this one change mastered, I suspect results will be an order of magnitude better.


PS - Sunshine, impressive win already; kudos for not being willing to coast on the glory of the moment.