Time zone differences can be a teams greatest asset as long as it is used to enable a project or goal to progress consistently as it is passed from team members in one time zone to another. One of the greatest challenges leaders face in enabling this to occur is streamlining the handoffs from one team member to another (Leading Virtual Teams, 2009).
Some best practices that leaders can use to better manage this challenge include:
having a well-documented processes that enable team members to understand the context of what has happened in the process prior to their involvement, and to anticipate what will happen in the process when they pass it on to another team member a well-defined decision-making sequence so it is clear who should be involved in what types of decisions clarification of who needs to be consulted about what and informed of decisions that affect the overall work of the team (Leading Virtual Teams, 2009).
When managing problems in a team setting it is important to use situational analysis by focusing on what is the most important program that the group faces. The next step is to undergo problem analysis which focuses on what are the causes of the problem. The third step is to use solution analysis which focuses on what is the best solution for the problem. Lastly one should do implementation analysis which focuses on how to implement the chosen solution (Long, 2009).
In each of these four phases one should use both divergent thinking and convergent thinking in order to ensure that all angles have been considered before moving onto the next phase.
Divergent thinking is used in order to block to the search for different points-of-view and multiple ways of knowing. One can think of this as the brainstorming portion of this phase when people are free to think in any way that feels natural and comfortable (Long, 2009).
On the other hand, convergent thinking is used in order to bring the group back to center where we can discuss and debate and except a group solution in order to move into the next phase. The manager in charge of the team should coordinate these two different styles of thinking in each of these four phases and ensure that everyones concerns are heard and then resolved before moving on to the next phase. By keeping good notes and keeping track of where you are in the process they will ensure that they leverage the power of natural human reasoning and effective group process to solve your business planning challenges (Long, 2009).
Leading Virtual Teams. (2009). Retrieved November 27, 2009, from Aperian Global Web site:
Long, Ken. (2009). Group Problem Solving – Tips For Leading Your Team. Retrieved November
27, 2009, from Ezine Articles Web site: http://ezinearticles.com/?Group-Problem-
What is a team? (2007). Retrieved November 27, 2009, from Penn State Web site: