Team Mentoring

Find out about how to get started in GlobCom

photoAverill Gordon, Global Team Mentor agordon@aut.ac.nz

Welcome All!  You are now all a member of a Global Virtual Team in a highly innovative international project that works with a real client on a current PR issue.  Your lecturers know that working in a global virtual team is a challenge so please talk to your lecturer as they know exactly what you should be doing.

These pages  give you a timeline, suggest collaboration platforms and processes.  There is also a special section for Global Team Leaders.  Please make sure you get to know all your team members. The best way to do this is to socialise online.  This will help to develop trust and team spirit and can be challenging in an online situation. Please be sensitive to cultural issues.  Look at the Collaboration page to help you get some great online collaboration tools where you can post photos and documents.

If you are elected as the Global Team Leader,  please email me at agordon@aut.ac.nz to access the Team Leader Forum where you can discuss team progress, meet other team leaders and get advice on leading a virtual team.

You can find the student introduction pack, that was included in your welcome mail, here!

GlobCom Team timetable (these dates are a guide only)

February to March 4 Enrollment   Students meet and socialise and work out procedures
March 4 to 24
Stage 1
Research and development of processes  Develop project timeline (identify holiday times) Research – SWOT/PEST; write up situation analysis.  Elect team leader and develop team processes. Team leader confirms deputy. Select country leaders as contact for the team leader Identify team goals and norms (see below) Allocate roles (see below for examples of roles)*
March 25  April 15
Stage 2
Framework of proposal  Develop objectives, strategy, publics, concepts
April 16 29
Stage 3
Body of proposal  Confirm strategy, implementation, action plans
April 30 – May 6
Stage 4
Finalise  Develop budget, evaluation and finalise presentation

How to get started:

Get to know your team members
Have informal meetings at first as everyone joins over the next few weeks. Identify a good virtual platform such as google drive, wiggio or trello – for more ideas see the Collaboration page.  Facebook is not ideal for this project.  Then meet online through skype or google+ hangouts.   Teamwork is very important in this project.  However, you will not have the rich social context you have in face-to-face meetings so you need to make up for this by spending time socialising online in order to know each other. You may want to do an audit of  what everyone prefers doing.

Arrange a meeting schedule
Agree about nine formal meeting dates for the whole project where the group will discuss progress. Usually one a week at the same time works well. Think about timezones to suit everybody!  At every meeting you need an agenda – it must be circulated to your team in advance. After every meeting someone must send out meeting minutes with names and timings against actions. then post these on your virtual platform. Here is a timezone calculator http://www.timeanddate.com/

What does everyone do in the team?
Set goals as to how you want to work as a team.  Think about roles. You may want to ask everyone to say what they are good at or want to do such as  research, writing, editing, design.  Everyone must have a role. You can also select a global team leader, a global deputy and a country leader. It may be best to get to know each other for a few meetings before you elect a team leader.

Who is your team leader?
Effective leaders combine the role of getting tasks done as well as maintaining the social relationships within the group. They create a group climate that encourages and stimulates interaction, e.g. develop agenda, facilitate group communications, offer internal summaries and continual evaluation.

What makes leadership different in a global virtual team?
However, research has shown that for a global virtual team to work well and for conflicts to be resolved all members  need to  take active responsibility for their group’s progressEveryone needs to  prepare for meetings and be responsiveness to all their group members.

In a virtual team all members must be active and initiate activities for their team to be a success!!

What is the format for the proposal?
These are suggestions ONLY so always discuss your ideas with your team and lecturer.

  1. Introduction
  2. Aim, communication objectives and rationale
  3. Publics
  4. Overall communication strategy, with messages.
  5. Implementation (actions) – define each communication tactic and explain what it is and how it will go towards achieving the objectives
  6. Estimated budget and timeline
  7. Evaluation
  8. Your proposal can have a short executive summary at the beginning.

5. Formal team meetings

Meetings 1-3: Research and planning to develop a situational analysis
Agree how to carry out research to develop a situational analysis. Read your brief thoroughly! Develop a PEST and SWOT to help you develop your situation analysis. Get your team to do the collaborative SWOT – see the collaboration page. Identify your publics. Write down all the questions you need to ask the client – a client meeting will be arranged but do the research first:

  • What is the market:
  • What are the changes in the market?
  • What is driving those changes?
  • What is the significance of the main change?
  • Evaluate the future direction of the market

Meetings 4-6: Development of aim, objectives and strategy
Develop the aim, objectives and strategy using your situational analysis
Ensure your objectives are SMART objectives

Meetings 7-9: Identify publics, messages, Implementation, budget, timeline, evaluation

  • Target publics
  • Key messages
  • Tactics and implementation
  • Budget and timeline
  • Evaluation
  • Ideally, your proposal should have a short summary at the beginning

Meetings 10-12: Prepare for submission
Put all onto a presentation format, e.g. Prezzi, powerpoints, evernote
Prepare to attend the GlobCom conference!!

Marking criteria
Each country leader will submit your proposal to their local lecturer in May (your lecturer will let you know the date and it will be on this website). Your proposal will be marked using the following criteria:

  • Content and coherence with brief. 3 credits
  • Creativity max. 3 credits
  • Global capacity: global strategy and country programs. 3 credits
  • Presentation. 2 credits
  • Feasibility. 2 credits
  • Structure of the presentation. 2 credits

I look forward to seeing you all in Abu Dhabi!

Best wishes

Averill Gordon
Twitter:  @AverillG
agordon@aut.ac.nz

Averill lectures on the postgraduate degree in public relations at the Auckland University of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand and is the author of the textbook, Public  Relations, published by Oxford University Press. Several years ago she set up the public relations degree at the University of Gloucestershire in England. Before that she set up the international healthcare division for the global PR agency,  Weber Shandwick, in London.

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