25 mins read time

On this episode of the Virtual Frontier, we’re joined by Peter Ivanov. Peter is the author of Virtual Power Teams as well as a speaker and coach with 20 years of experience working with virtual teams.

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Full episode transcript below:

Chris:

  • Hello and welcome to the Virtual Frontier! The podcast about virtual teams created by a virtual team. I’m Chris and I’m part of the team here at FlashHub. On today’s episode, we have Peter Ivanov. Peter has 20 years experience working with virtual teams. He spent the last five years coaching virtual teams. He’s also the author of a book called “Virtual Power Teams” that I highly recommend. So, here is episode five of the Virtual Frontier featuring our guest Peter Ivanov.

Manuel:

    • Hi Peter! I’m happy to have you on the show here.

 

  • So, Peter is an international speaker and he has long-term experience with virtual teams. If he was not the person that was one of the first people having experience with virtual teams and I’m happy to have you here on the show – so, introduce yourself to the audience, please.

Peter:

  • Hi Manuel, it’s an honor to be on this podcast. My name is Peter Ivanov, born in Bulgaria, living in Hamburg, Germany, right now. I was – I had a chance to work, as you said with many virtual teams. So, I have 20 years experience leading virtual teams and now 5 years coaching virtual teams and speaking about virtual teams.
  • And I was – I started as an IT – I was a data analyst doing some programming and running some reports and then was an IT manager, then managed a big project in Hamburg moving a data center, which was a couple of contrasts involved – my first virtual team to manage, including the customer and some of the project team members. Then went to Budapest, we established their technology-shared services for Central Europe or 8 countries and I was establishing it and running the team and supporting this diverse customer base. Then came back to Hamburg within a couple of projects and then I was leading the project delivery unit for Europe.
  • So, essentially I was managing the IT portfolio and the project managers that run this portfolio for the business. And then last 3 years I was set off for IT services for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. And that was by far the biggest region – probably half of the globe, very dispersed – in some cases like Central Africa – very poor infrastructure. So, I had a 100+ permanent people on the team and probably likewise contract for some outsourcing partners and there – through my mistakes and my victories I developed the method “Virtual Power Teams” which is essentially the 10 big rocks, the 10 success factors for retaining the gravity – I call it the gravity between the team members. Despite the distance, despite the time zones, despite the cultural differences.
  • And the last 5 years I’ve been running this method with several, quite a few, customers. Initially, starting with multinationals, where I’m coming from, which have global teams and they have to manage them, project teams, as well as business as usual teams or strategic teams, then mid-sized companies having, you know, production in China and marketing offices in the US and so on.
  • And recently startups which after they reach, after they get out of the incubator and accelerator and have a solid product and get proper venture capital – they start growing quite fast and they care for the best people and they recruit them regardless of where they are. So, they start organically growing very virtually – have a client now with 30 people in 22 locations, 22 different cities and probably around 15 or 18 countries. So, startups which already grow – they also have virtual teams. So, that’s my kind of professional experience.
  • And the other thing about myself – I have five daughters. Which – it’s still a local team between 6 and 14 – so, we are in a very hectic face-to-face period, especially the teenage ones. Three of them are teenagers and two are still little, one would call them, but once they start leaving the house and the eldest one goes to the US next year, we will become a virtual, human virtual family.
  • So, I’ll see how can I apply and adapt my method for families. And if you count the unkles and the grandparents and so on – many, many families are virtual by now. And yes, probably that’s enough for an introduction. Perhaps you’ll touch upon some other points here.

Manuel:

  • Yeah, that is very impressive.
  • So, you have lots of experience working with many different people across the globe in different, in IT projects or even in different projects in general not only related to IT and you have been a successful sportsman so maybe you can tell us about this part of your life.

Peter:

  • Yes. So, I was a sportsman all my life when I was a student I was competing in student competitions in javelin throw and then shot, but actually, because I have this explosive strength. But I was never a top athlete and then age 40 from mid-life crisis kicking in, I decided to prove that I still can and I am still strong and even stronger.
  • So, I started preparing myself initially with my friends from the student years – we went to the Bulgarian National Championships for seniors, actually. We have this very well organized seniors athletics – we’re starting from age 35. You have age group five years like 35-40, 40-45 and then initially you know I became a Bulgarian champion, then Balkan champion, which is I’m not sure like 12 countries, like Greece Turkey Romania Bulgaria and so on.
  • And then last year was my culmination. I went to New Zealand and then there I become a world champion in discus thrower which I started at age 40 actually. And then I got the bronze in javelin and it was impressive competition there. They call it World Masters Games – so it’s like the Olympic Games for seniors, but because you multiply the number of disciplines by the number of age groups I think we were, if I’m not mistaken 20,000 athletes, so much New Zealand was flooded whit senior athletes and there were people 100+. I remember in my day when I threw a javelin there was the Indian Navy 101 years old. So, she was doing a hundred meters sprints and then she finished and she was really running but just slowly. And then there were TV cameras and big interview and her grand grandchildren were there and so on.
  • And then last year was my culmination. I went to New Zealand and then there I become a world champion in discus thrower which I started at age 40 actually. And then I got the bronze in javelin and it was impressive competition there. They call it World Masters Games – so it’s like the Olympic Games for seniors, but because you multiply the number of disciplines by the number of age groups I think we were, if I’m not mistaken 20,000 athletes, so much New Zealand was flooded whit senior athletes and there were people 100+. I remember in my day when I threw a javelin there was the Indian Navy 101 years old. So, she was doing a hundred meters sprints and then she finished and she was really running but just slowly. And then there were TV cameras and big interview and her grand grandchildren were there and so on.
  • So it is, it is good but for me it was, you know, virtual life, a lot phone line calls, podcasts and YouTube videos. So, I need something tangible, you know, to grab something to throw it as far as you can.

Manuel:

  • Some physical competition, right.

Peter:

  • Exactly. Exactly. On one hand something physical so you can really feel it and feel the tension, on the other – some competition where you have opponents that you know you mainly compete. We had this conversation and you are also an athlete in the martial arts, very successful one. In the athletics, you mainly compete against the other competitors, but moreover, you compete with yourself – in the preparation, in your technique and in the competition to give your best. So it was, it was a fantastic journey.
  • And this year I am taking a break. So, I am just coming from the gym now but I am not doing competitions. Next year, I guess, I will return, but slowly because the kids require more time – before they leave home I think I have to focus on them, then actually come back to the track.

Manuel:

  • Thanks for the insights into this part of your life. I absolutely appreciate that and I really have honest respect for people that bring a passion that they follow. And, as far as I can see, you have this passion and you have this passion still for sports, but also for your professional life and that’s why you founded something that you call “Virtual power teams”. In fact, I read your book and I read the amazing stories that not only have to deal with, with IT or digital projects, but how they, how the power of virtual teams could leverage or could be leveraged to help people just to have people in different scenarios of catastrophe etc. So, maybe you can tell us about “Virtual power teams” and what makes them so powerful.

Peter:

  • Yes. So, a virtual team is a group of people which are spread across more than one location. And normally, I would ask in my keynote the audience how do you think, how many are in percentage the virtual teams. If you say one, more than one location they could be in the same city, you know just two offices could be in different countries or continents. You read the book and it is there – I am not sure if you remember, but what is your guess? What do you think are in percentage the virtual teams globally?

Manuel:

  • How many percents of teams work virtually?

Peter:

  • Yes. So, maybe you work with people or not in the same location…

Manuel:

  • Hmm, 30 percent?

Peter:

  • 30, you say.
  • So, according to Forrester Research and this study is four years old and you even have a more recent one – there are 81 percent.

Manuel:

  • Wow!

Peter:

  • Globally. And 60 percent of them are in more than one time zone. So, quite dispersed. And in terms of virtual team, quite a few of them are virtual and the virtual power team is not just a group of people that have to work together and not in the same place, but is a team which has a strong gravity. I compare the virtual team like the atom, the model of the atom where we have the nucleus and then you have the various particles flying around. In the virtual team, you try to retain the gravity, despite the distance. The gravity between the individual team members which are in this case the particles flying around the nucleus, towards the nucleus which is not the manager, not the boss or project manager – this is the purpose and the goal of the team and we put a lot of emphasis on bottom-up, setting up the goal.
  • So, a virtual power team is a team which has a strong gravity and from this reason they deliver top performance – much, much stronger than, than the usual often before plan, often with improved quality and it has a number of cases that is probably, we will touch upon some of them, and even sometimes go beyond the promise. So, yeah I have my method the 10 big rocks which are the 10 success factors for retaining the gravity and unleashing the team power and, and delivering top performance.

Manuel:

  • Okay. So, you say that the performance of a virtual team is based on the purpose that drives them, right?

Peter:

  • Purpose, yeah. There are many, many things. The purpose is essential for the gravity, yes, that’s, that’s it. Then you need to know the 10 big rocks are split into three main groups:
  • First is like, if you compare to the human body, first is the head – the logical part. So, there we have the personality in focus. Many people, and we will touch upon flash teams, but if these are employees or key partners that have to work together over like one year or two years project – we put personality in focus. So, some managers say: I don’t see why should they care about the individuals. From my perspective that is a big mistake then and there is a very concise format within like 5 to 10 minutes – people go deep and intimate. Then strength matrix people – who are anonymous and not recognized and the in strengths we discovered their natural talents and strengths very quickly in a peer coaching format. They coach each other with preset questions and then we put them in a strength matrix – instead of feeling anonymous, they start feeling special like heroes because every one of them has developed a special skill set and the others know and instead of working your weakness area you know where you are strong. You will give this to somebody who develops this strength and you will take over in your area. And then – the interdependent goal. I’ll just briefly list them, interdependent goals. This is how we set the goal is that the purpose and the goal, strategic goals based on the purpose which we do bottom up. Regardless of how smart is the manager if it’s a longer term, he cannot be aware of the hot topics in these locations cultures and so on, so we do it bottom up. This is the clarity part – the head who is a member of the team, what is the goal. Then you have and the purpose is there.
  • But beyond the purpose you have the second part, is like the muscles and skeleton. So, here we have – we establish a structure communication – there is a big rock about forum’s agenda, what conferences, what meetings are needed, knowledge management, how do we do it despite the distance and regular feedback which in local teams sometimes is fierce and in virtual even more. So, here we establish a structured communication, not manager-centric or problem-centric, if you let the teams – the manager calls the meeting, if there is a problem and start finger pointing and so on, but structured in a way that everyone is having a time slot and everyone can shine and contribute.
  • And the third part – we had the head, we had a skeleton and muscles – the body and the third part is the heart. My favorite one. So, here we talked about recognition again scarce is local even more in virtual diversity. How do we handle a multiple cultures? How do we establish a team culture consciously chosen by the team members which is optimal for the bouquet of ethnic cultures and then how do we establish a winning spirit? Despite the distance and the tenth one, normally, I keep for the end – there’s a surprise, there is – this next generation leaders if you have a bigger team. How do you involve the new leadership talents and because it’s virtual? When you break down you know the purpose into strategic goals you need to deliver and then I would involve hands on the new kind of leadership potential and talent. And there is a process and structure, as well.
  • So, these are the three parts including the goal purpose, including the structure communication and the heart. The optimal culture.

Manuel:

  • Okay. And you consult corporations, enterprise organizations regarding virtual teams. You teach them or help them to start working with virtual teams. And as you have a long-term experience, what was the most exciting experience that you had with a virtual team, if you want to share that with us?

Peter:

  • Two things came to my mind. Let me tell you one which I did as a coach, the other one is from my practice as a manager – I was a project manager for global projects. But this one as a coach was funny, because I had a client in New York and he is running MOOCs – probably you know what is this. I guess the audience probably will be aware of massive open online course. So he’s having 35,000 people subscribing for his course. He is the Harvard graduate and he’s teaching in his course modern architecture, but he’s not just teaching – it’s dry, they do it on a real case study.
  • So, after the tsunami destroyed the infrastructure in the Philippines the government decided to build the new schools destroyed by the tsunami. Very robust, so there will be so robust than the normal times there will be schools. But in the case of natural disaster they will host the people and provide a secure shelter. And then with all his knowledge, he was giving them advice by video and then they were given some assignments to work on a project and designed such a robust school.
  • But his problem was – it was 6 weeks course; after the week 5 the people started to drop out and drop out very, very heavily. So, out of 35,000 subscribing, there were between 3,000-5,000 thousand remaining. And he was getting his money in the end. When people successfully complete the project they got a certificate from his team of professors. They got the signoff and they got a certificate and pay money. So, people were staying for five weeks and living happily for free. And he tried to get the money up front but just only 3,000 people subscribed.
  • So, then he engaged me and we were discussing with his team of professors what to do and we just did the following. We asked the people to get together in a group of five. Not that we did it – said get together self organize it manner and in this group of five they presented themselves with a lifeline. This is how I normally go. That personality focus people present themselves with a lifeline which you have the time from the date of birth and you have the intensity of life events. So, you have the moments where you are most proud of. Like the highlights on the curve you have the low lines, the moments where you struggle lows, but nevertheless managed to overcome and with this insight which takes like 5 to 10 minutes – but is a very rich experience.
  • If you do it online you hear the voice of the people that are present and even if there is video, you know emotionally going through his life, like they went through this exercise and then went through the strength matrix and instead of everyone doing his project on his own as it was before this group of five – they had to deliver only one project. So, they split the roles based on their strengths knowing each other enough – that the critical week 5 came they were just not able to let their, you know, the people, their teammates down and there was some dropout rate, but it was significantly lower.
  • So this is just a simple example which for me was at a big scale – people even not seeing each other similar to the flash teams, but quite different as well. And with this simple exercise we managed to deliver a very good quality projects, a number of projects completed to a much bigger and the revenue was through the roof compared to the starting position and I think the people, they established many networks and community and they are still in touch, because it was not anonymous. There were you know those five people working in the team so they kind of get to know each other and they are still existing alumni, which are still a part of the community.

Manuel:

  • That is in fact very impressive and that maybe one point why you gave these kinds of virtual teams and virtual power teams and in fact I mean you said that the purpose is one, one very important component that drives people. So, if you have a manager-driven organization where a manager needs to tell people what they do – this is only one train that moves things forward to the goal and tells other people what to do. If you have a purpose-driven team where people, and this is one part of you which empower teams, know each other – they trust each other, they understand which skills each other have and they all see themselves as like a service provider to contribute to the common goal or to the common purpose.
  • This is in fact very powerful and that explains why our organization, and in fact we have one virtual power team that helps me to operate my company – then we have flash teams on top that are there on demand to solve different complex, open goal projects like mobile app development, web development or any kind of cloud application development. So, those are two different mechanisms. Can you point out the difference between virtual power teams and flash teams or flash organizations?

Peter:

  • I think, flash teams – I was recently become aware, and naturally thanks to you and the people that connected us. But I see a huge potential of flash teams, as far I understand it now you have bigger experience. I have a very rich experience with virtual teams and virtual power teams, and now you were starting flash teams.
  • In the virtual power teams normally you either have people which are employed by one company regardless how big or how small being a startup or multinational or you have a team where you have a number of employees and then a number of either freelancers or key partners which you know comprise the team. And there you are looking longer term, so normally virtual power teams is one year plus horizon, sometimes longer. And there is a great investment building trust, building trust between the people, investing in getting to know themselves, holistically as individuals and as human beings, not just as professionals. So, and then you apply the 10 big rocks – bottom-up goal setting structure communication, so on and we build a virtual politics.
  • In the flash teams – I think the necessities there, the demand is strong from the market. This lack of extra resources in Western Europe, particularly around programming is driving this demand high. And there I guess if you – there are two things. First, is having a very robust process with handoff points and so on. So, you need to have a very good, organized process. And second, I guess you need a very solid platform who is supporting the process, but also these are the success factors that you know your company is providing. And having also proven pool of experts, you know having a team which recruits the experts and ensures the quality. But you have to you have to have a good people.
  • You have to have – another element is the micro roles. In the virtual power teams – It is a bit like in the agile, we are looking a bit for T-shaped individuals, so you need for some generalist component, you need for some cross-functional experience and then some expertise. So, this is the optimal setup. In Flash teams – I guess you need for very good experts, in a very well defined micro role. So, this combination between solid expertise proven, a platform that supports and a very optimized process – can drive very successful flash teams and for sure on top you need somebody like yourself to ensure the quality and the management of the team, because the customer will not be able to step in and immediately manage regardless if he has access. You know, some people do it. There are platforms where you can search and find the experts, but this management level that you provide is essential as well – because there you have your power team and their performance is key.

Manuel:

  • Yeah. So, we have a virtual power team that we built a platform to allow flash teams to exist.
  • So, we have both components. The one is for the stable things that have a long period of time where they work together – this the virtual power team. And then we have the flash teams, that come together for like 6 months, maybe only 3 months and they just do one project, but they are supported by the virtual power team.
  • Yes it, it’s a virtual team that supports a virtual team that we are interested in. This became obvious to me, but yes very exciting. What do you think does an organization need to start working remotely or even with virtual teams? How long does it take on average when you tell us from your experience with corporations?

Peter:

  • Yes, now with corporations – if we’re talking virtual power teams. Normally, if you give the right staff, the right kick off it takes – my usual format is today’s workshop and sometimes it’s a very senior team or vice president or CEO with his direct reports, their time is very precious. We do the very essentials within one day or even less. So, it’s really going through the 10 big rocks and tuning it for the reality, for the industry, for the locations involved, for the countries, for the specific and it is not me that kind of tunes it – I provide the process and facilitation and they come up with the all the expert knowledge to get there and to have the roadmaps which are one of the key outcomes.
  • When we define the purpose, the roadmaps that come with the team charter which defines the structure communication, the forums, the urgent communication challenge and so on. So, normally, takes like two days to set them on the right foundation and then for sure you start executing the structure communication so you need to follow up in a proper way. You need to deliver on what you promise in terms of regular feedback, in terms of recognition, in terms of people taking ownership on the road maps of particular milestones and so on – but it is not, it’s not a big deal, but it is quite substantial cultural change particularly if you come from a manager who is like micromanaging or been managing local teams would like to control everything. Those things are not possible. This is what in my book, I took one example from my practice and in some cases it was me like 15 years ago trying to micromanage trying, to be the smartest person in the room – doesn’t work – so you, you need to operate in a different way in order to be successful though.
  • Yeah, two days to set the foundation and then normally we would have like once a quarter, half a day online just to make sure we deliver all my roadmaps and I may have some executive coaching session with the manager and she has some cultural problems or his struggles but it is, it is something natural if you run it bottom up, it’s an empowering style. Any of the values of the manager, of the team culture that he wants to instill, is compliant with this empowering virtual power team’s culture. For the FlashHub I guess the value proposition is that you can build them very quickly and leverage on the process and on the platform – there it’s much quicker but key success factor is having the virtual power team on top stuff.

Manuel:

  • Absolutely. I mean this could be a start for organizations to see how remote work or how a virtual team could work for them, to start immediately without having to change processes over the long term, without finding a new office somewhere else in the world where they can hire people and then build a bridge that they call a remote team or virtual power team. Yeah, but they could just start with a flash team and see how it goes with the virtual team and if they see, if they get the results that they hope to reclaim.

Peter:

  • Exactly. I would just like to add. Now, I’m dealing often with digitalization drives a lot of organizational change and innovation and I have come across, met on conferences and Chief Digital Officers and they have to deliver innovation, so they drive innovation from different. They have either internal innovation labs where they would kind of fund their startups or their work with some partners and a couple of companies. So, they are very often, they need to scale fast either like Lean Startup model or they have a project and they need to deliver for some prototype.
  • So, I think this will drive big corporate clients to look more for flash teams particularly to deliver on their innovation portfolio. And if you have solid methods to deliver fast and efficient and robust – I think this will have a lot of, you will deliver a lot of value and we’ll be maturing, will be established as a model for them. I’ve read the statistics by the way that I think 2020 or 2022 – not sure, 47% of the people will be flexible workforce, like freelancers, so not employed.
  • I think, I’m not sure how they did the research and what’s underlying assumptions, but I guess some part of it will be like flash teams delivering on some of the projects.

Manuel:

  • So, when we are talking about the future and I know this study was from Forbes and there’s another one from Intuit where they described that in the US in 2020 more than 40% workforce will be freelancers and in Europe, it will be about 25%.
  • So, we see there is a huge shift into freelancing workforce. Respecting that what do you think how could an organization look like in 2022?

Peter:

  • I think it’s a very good question. I think to drive operations, to drive for run, because you have the innovation portfolio you have the marketing and product development and then you have project delivery, delivering on this innovation portfolio and product development and then you have run which includes all sales and you may have production there or you may have just maintenance and so on. I think for the organizations there will be – we have in the past, we have a lot of outsourcing there particularly for shared services for like IT, HR finance functions.
  • Now, there is a little bit of wave back going through like mix sourcing, some kind of service management in the middle and then but there will be probably, there will not be many changes there.
  • If we look 2020, 2022 but in terms of project delivery, I guess there will be a lot of flexible workforce needed including flash teams, because you can deliver much faster leveraging on this follow the sound global access to resources. If you have a platform and the way to ensure quality in terms of innovation and product development – we’re not so sure, but I guess no one will be in the project delivery space.
  • Number two will be probably in the product development, because you have a competitive advantage, you need to keep some things in source but you have on the other hand some innovation hubs and companies which deliver, develop that very, very strong deals in the space. But that’ll be number two in terms of growing more flexible.
  • And probably the least change will be now which is the run operations functions. But even there you have a lot of outsourcing and even there, that’s my usual customer base where they struggle right now – they have a huge contract 100 -200 pages, but if it comes to managing issues they struggle, so it’s much more established and people-to-people team between the partners instead of going into dispute and having lawyers and so on.
  • So, there probably won’t be more virtual teams, but even the existing ones need some support. In the project delivery considering now the more dynamic marketplace with lots of innovation, lots of disruptors there will be huge demand for new products and I guess key part of them will be delivered particularly the prototyping part and so on by virtual teams and flash teams.

Manuel:

  • From my experience project success is all about people. I mean it’s not an organization that makes the project successful. It’s people that make the projects successful and an organization is usually there especially if we are talking about service providers – to control people.
  • And you only need to control people. From my experience, if they don’t know what they should do or if they don’t have transparency to make proper decisions – if I bind your eyes and tell you, you should go into the right direction -it’s simply not possible. But if you connect people, maybe in the platform ecosystem – it’s easier than ever and maybe platforms will replace organizations that just have and control people – then it’s easy to understand why the future workforce will be more freelancers because if organizations don’t have a benefit for people then the only benefit is – yeah, I mean, if they are self-responsible and if the people that are freelancers can work in the same way on their own behalf, self-responsible and free on a platform – I think there is no sense to have an organization that controls people. What do you think about that scenario in the future?

Peter:

  • It is a very drastic change but I think it’s quite, quite logical and robust for sure. If you say it now to some corporate managers they will see a threat and they will start arguing. But if you have a proven success track record of a platform where you get the people quickly and, and can deliver the projects much faster or with good quality then fact speaks for themselves. So, I think this scenario will, will thrive. We need to ensure as you said, to ensure a clear decision-making rules and assure clear purpose. But this is something that you don’t need the whole organization for that. You know, the process and a good platform with integrity rules and so on.

Manuel:

  • Yeah, I mean – the organization most likely has to support people to do their job. That’s what the platform does. An organization should not be there to limit people and to control them, but to support them to reach their personal, but also professional goals. From my perspective, this is how the organization of the future should look like and that is how we build our organization.
  • We are currently working with 150 people – distributed all over the globe and people that are working here with us in our local office, they are free to work from where they want, in which projects they want and we have full transparency – every salary is open, everyone can make proper decisions by him or herself so they can do any kind of things that they think is useful to them personally and also for our process.
  • From this perspective – do you have experience with other organizations that go a similar way to make everything open and transparent and put people in the centre instead of managers?

Peter:

  • Not really I was just listening to you, were one of the reasons that this model I think will grow is that it is to provide a lot of benefits for the sort of people for the freelancers for the people that like to work free.
  • I have a campaign called working – work wherever you like with the hashtag and then I have a lot of exotic places, but really people appreciate this greatly particularly you know young mothers, there some social demographic groups for them. This is an absolutely fantastic way to get back to work and they wouldn’t have this chance if they have to follow the traditional rules. You asked me if I know organization which already adopts, this was a question?
  • I think, as I mentioned some established corporates they have particular in the digital portfolio space and innovation space they adopt this approach. If I look at – I am sorry for noise..

Manuel:

  • No problem that’s your physical life, haha.. if it was a remote team you can just mute it, but in a physical life, it’s simply not possible. Don’t worry about that. So, do you think that in the US – transparency is much more important than in Europe? In Europe many things are about control, putting borders between people. At least that’s my impression from cooperations.
  • Do you see in other countries that transparency plays a bigger role in corporations and that people are more free and put into the centre of an organisation?

Peter:

  • I mean in this sense, I see this because people demand it. I mean the corporations they don’t have much choice in the ones that ignore these trends. They struggle, I mean they ignore it for a longer term. They struggle big time and we see you know even share price falling and headlines negative in the press. So, and probably on the lucky side but people that engage me, they appreciate the people they would like to empower their people. They would like to deliver through people and not through somehow control and other ways to manipulate. And that’s why I mainly deal with organizations which appreciate the freedom of the people – they are result-oriented, but not on the result oriented because you may go with no profit is the only result we care and go ruthlessly about it.
  • They let people in the decision making, in setting the purpose and the vision and then go for it. So, I see this in different organizations including the corporate where I support projects. Including like CEOs having heavy digital agenda to deliver and they try to build virtual power teams. So, all this is about as you said transparency, transparency about who is a member of the team, what is our purpose and not just transparency, but co-creating the purpose and the goal.
  • And I think this will be a factor for success or failure. The people that embrace those values – they will thrive. The rest probably will be disrupted in this way, by some.

Manuel:

  • Yeah, yeah, yeah. You have to change if you want to stick to the old things and see this as a security. The only thing that is certain and secure is that it limits your possibility to grow and change in the future and to change with the markets.
  • That’s obvious for me, but I am wondering how others will see that. I will interview some other people in the future, I will also interview some CEOs and some people that have a strong experience with virtual teams or even some people that failed with that approach and we will see how, how other people experience this and if the world changes we will see. So, at the end of the podcast, I would be happy if you can give our audience some insights about where they can find you, how they can connect with you and maybe where you have your next event where you pick speaking etc…

Peter:

  • So, I live in Hamburg Germany. My email, you will put it I guess in the text of the podcast, but it is very easy: info@peter-ivanov.com. And peter-ivanov.com is my web page, where there are many videos from my YouTube channel and some case studies and so on.
  • I take part in quite a few conferences, so each year I speak on 20-30 conferences, in Europe but also in the USA. And there I this year I did some online Congresses with global reach, as well.
  • So, the best way is really to go to the web page and there you could subscribe to my blog which is a mounted log onto the YouTube channel or just drop me a note. Normally, I send a team assessment, which is a virtual team assessment, so people can run through it. These are 40 questions and based on the score we could cover even three strategic sessions for your particular virtual team and decide how best we can drive it to virtual policy.

Manuel:

  • That is very interesting.
  • We will transcribe the podcast and share it on social media. You have also LinkedIn profile and it would be good if you can put a link to this virtual team assessment below our transcription notes so that others can start this assessment and see how they are doing.

Peter:

  • Sure, sure. Great video. Otherwise, the book is translated into six, five languages actually German, English, Bulgarian – my mother tongue, Polish and Spanish. And next year it will be published in Chinese – it is already translated but we wait – the quota for foreign authors have been exhausted, so it will be published early next year once they open up again for foreign authors.
  • So the book provides a lot of insights and as you…

Manuel:

  • I know, I read, I read it and I can absolutely recommend it, it’s inspiring and it tells the stories or it’s very interesting and not only theoretical.

Peter:

  • I write a story like the business model which makes it probably easy to digest.

Manuel:

  • All right then, we reached the limit of our show. It was very interesting and exciting talking to you. Thanks for having you on the show. And yet if you want to get in contact with Peter Ivanov then just go to the LinkedIn Profile or see our transcriptions – will include all the links to his profile inside. Thanks for hearing us. Thank you.

Peter:

  • Thank you, Manuel. It was a pleasure.

Chris:

  • I’d like to thank our guest Peter Ivanov for joining us today. You can find out more about Peter and “Virtual Power Teams” by checking out his book anywhere books are found or on his website – www.peter-ivanov.com, you can subscribe to the Virtual Frontier or leave us a review at Apple podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher or anywhere else podcasts are found.
  • If you want to learn more about virtual teams as a service visit flashhub.io. On behalf of the team here at FlashHub, I’d like to thank you for listening.
  • So, until next episode – keep exploring new frontiers.

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