Advice for Virtual Teams LO13683

Steve O'Keefe (
Tue, 20 May 1997 13:57:37 -0700

Why do so many distributed team projects fail? "It is harder for virtual
teams to be successful than for traditional face-to-face teams.
Misunderstandings are more likely to arise and more things are likely to
go wrong." These words of warning come from Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey
Stamps, two people who dedicated their lives to making teams work better.

Lipnack and Stamps are co-founders of The Networking Institute, co-authors
of five books on team work, and consultants to numerous Fortune-500 firms
and The United Nations. Through their research into how teams work, they
discovered something called "the 50-foot barrier" -- people that work more
than 50 feet apart are unlikely to work together in teams. That inspired
Lipnack and Stamps to write "Breaking the 50-Foot Barrier," an article
loaded with examples of how companies such as Sun Microsystems and NCR
created team environments that defeated the 50-foot barrier. If you would
like a copy of the article, simply send e-mail to with the
subject line, Send Teams.

Lipnack and Stamps are distributing the article to call attention to their
new web site and book. The book is called "Virtual Teams: Reaching Across
Space, Time and Organizations With Technology." Like the article, it is
packed with case histories of how companies have succeeded in making
distributed teams work. The book was published by John Wiley & Sons in
May, 1997.

The web site is called NetAge -- home of The Networking Institute -- a
repository of resources to help people build better networks. You'll find
more information about "Virtual Teams" and Lipnack and Stamps' other
efforts at the site:


"Steve O'Keefe" <>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>