Managing Virtual Teams & The Soccer (“Futbol”) Generation

Some companies like Nokia are much better than others at managing virtual teams. At Nokia, they are up to 120 people in size and are much more complex than previously imagined. Finland is a tiny country that had to access markets outside its boundaries, so being virtual is something that Nokia grew up with. When people move into a virtual team, they have met and have prior working history. Also, Nokia is a technology company that helps in virtual management.

Young members of virtual teams have some important attributes, and have been described as members of “…the myspace generation…” meaning that they enjoy casual collaboration. Also, in the U.S. the growth of soccer has contributed to the current generation of new workers having grown up since Kindergarten playing soccer or other team sports. Team orientation and learning is more important culturally to this group. Also, very importantly, soccer (better known as futbol outside the U.S.) is a global sport. American children who used to play American football and baseball have been injected with an understanding of different cultures, names of players, and teams playing on global satellite broadcasts that the prior generation did not experience. So, they are much more apt to seek ways to make a difference and be involved globally than just nationally.

A new survey by Vistage, an organization for CEOs of small and mid-size businesses, found that 31% of the more than 2,000 CEO surveyed listed staffing as their greatest challenge. (Economic uncertainty was second at 21%.) Later in the survey, 45% of the CEOs say that they’ve installed technology that lets employees work remotely. What’s the connection? When asked why they’ve invested in this technology, the most popular answer — 27% — was that it helped them retain staff.

“You have to use technology to attract and retain the best workers,” Vistage CEO Rafael Pastor tells the Business Technology Blog. That’s partly because the generation now entering the workforce is so technically inclined. If a small company is going to be in the running for the best and the brightest of these young workers, it has to be supportive of the way they want to work – which includes using the latest tech.

Not surprisingly, the Vistage survey found that 46% of the CEOs say they’re changing their management style to adapt to the needs of these young workers. Additionally, 30% say that they’re using or planning to use new media like MySpace and blogs in order to market their businesses.

No World Borders has experience managing virtual teams for outsourced projects, including software development and call center processes and management.

Michael F. Arrigo

Michael is Managing Partner & CEO of No World Borders, a leading healthcare management and IT consulting firm. He serves as an expert witness in Federal and State Court and was recently ruled as an expert by a 9th Circuit Federal Judge. He serves as a patent expert witness on intellectual property disputes, both as a Technical Expert and a Damages expert. He leads a team that provides Cybersecurity best practices for healthcare clients, ICD-10 Consulting, Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records. He advises legal teams as an expert witness in HIPAA Privacy and Security, medical coding and billing and usual and customary cost of care, the Affordable Care Act and benefits enrollment, white collar crime, False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback, Stark Law, Insurance Fraud, payor-provider disputes, and consults to venture capital and private equity firms on mHealth, Cloud Computing in Healthcare, and Software as a Service. He advises self-insured employers on cost of care and regulations. Arrigo was recently retained by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding a significant false claims act investigation. He has provided opinions on over $1 billion in health care claims and due diligence on over $8 billion in healthcare mergers and acquisitions. Education: UC Irvine - Economics and Computer Science, University of Southern California - Business, studies at Stanford Medical School - Biomedical Informatics, studies at Harvard Medical School - Bioethics. Trained in over 10 medical specialties in medical billing and coding. Trained by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and PTAB Judges on patent statutes, rules and case law (as a non-attorney to better advise clients on Technical and Damages aspects of patent construction and claims). Mr. Arrigo has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and National Public Radio.

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