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Posts Tagged ‘Virtual teams’

It seems almost unfair to ask this question. After all who would consciously choose technology over trust. By choice I’m referring to where do you put the focus?  I admit I flirted amorously with the ocean of technology as the goal itself.  The child who wants to play with his toys comes out in me.  Sometimes, I become so carried away with the possibilities of all this technology, I lose sight of why I was originally so excited.

Oooh! Look it can do this and that!! I got a Google voice number last year. I was so excited that I was telling everyone how I could read their voice mail because Google’s technology transcribes it for me and sends to my phone via text. So what?

The real miracle was it allowed me to connect with more people and vice-versa (build trust), in ways I could manage more efficiently – and it was FREE!  Thanks Google.  But none of this technology made me nor my business more income, it merely facilitated it. Technology is a cost center. Plain and simple! It has no magic, no warmth or personality other than what we animate it with.  So why do we get so carried away with it?

Is it easier than actually relating to others? Is it easier than dealing with the highly subjective aspects of our own unpredictable human behavior? After all, technology is an object without choice. It must obey or it’s destroyed. But us, each other, well, that requires, care, attention, emotions, moods, feelings, constant misunderstandings, being open and vulnerable…on and on it goes. Yet, when there is trust, our behavior becomes highly predictable, and then more trust is generated in a self-reinforcing loop.

If I’m authentic, vulnerable and open, I become highly predictable. You may like me or not, but you will trust me, because you will know enough about me to predict how I will behave.

I will explore the theme of trust more in depth this week, including Ken Thompson’s team “Karma” concept from his book, The Networked Enterprise.  I’ll get back to work now and leave you with this excerpt from the book Virtual Teams: People working across boundaries with technology, by Jessica Lipnak and Jeffrey Stamps (2nd Edition, 2000).  The authors founded virtualteams.com and are considered the world’s leading experts on virtual teams and networked organizations.

“People work together because they trust one another. They make deals. Undertake projects, set goals, and lend one another resources.

Virtual teams are quicker, smarter, more flexible work groups in a sea of change. Highly adaptive as organizations these teams can cope with tumultuous complexity. For them trust is a need to have quality.

Trust builds with the recognition of the contribution that everyone makes. If you make a real contribution, people will trust you.”

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