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Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach

Sorry, but there’s no app for that

Answered => “What cross cultural situations have you experienced while managing virtual projects?” on Quora.

http://www.quora.com/What-cross-cultural-situations-have-you-experienced-while-managing-virtual-projects

=> My answer…

Thanks for asking.

While I’m certainly no Luddite, I’d like to start by saying that as much as we’d like to believe otherwise, there is something lost (or at least noticeably changed) when shifting to virtual. Be it the lack of proper amount of time devoted to the necessary tasks at hand and/or compromised attention span, an already flawed system (i.e., human communication) becomes further taxed. By definition the lack of the usual ques and clues has an impact—and quite often it’s a negative one.

While not exactly cultural per se, one of my biggest virtual project pet peeves are participants who try to field detailed concepts via email on their  mobile device. Too often a response gets substituted for what should be an answer. They are not the same. In other words, a quick while-multitasking reply that typical does not address the full depth & breadth of the incoming email is no substitute for a proper, fully focused and thought-out answer.

I’m not implying that such behavior is the fault of the mobile device.  The fault lies in the context that device allows. Where that user is and what they might be doing when they try to do 2 minute email in 15 seconds or less is often inappropriate. I’m sorry, but there’s no app for that ;)

In short, not every idea and communication can or should be dummied down to be mobile screen friendly. The world is often much larger than the palm of your hand. A quick reply is useless if it doesn’t answer the question(s).

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