5Mapping Virtual Distance

As we saw in Chapter 4, Virtual Distance causes quantifiable impacts on organizations and individuals alike. Once those are identified, it's time to start addressing Virtual Distance problems “on the ground.” The Virtual Distance Index (VDI) Assessment gives leaders the information they need to make sense of the big picture and ensure better performance if they home in on target areas that need improvement.

The next step is to map Virtual Distance to better understand how Virtual Distance is experienced at various group levels and identifies how it shows up in the everyday lives of team members. From there Virtual Distance Action Plans are built to address specific situations and differing people configurations.


Figure 5.1 is a picture of an actual Virtual Distance Map created during a client workshop. Just by glancing at it, you can see it's quite messy.

That's because, as we all know, people dynamics are messy. Informal interactions – which is the way work actually gets done – tend to travel under the surface of the neat and clean organizational charts we often rely on to understand structure. While we need those charts to generally know who reports to whom, it's a mistake to think that the most meaningful momentum in the virtual workforce is reflected through them. For that we need to create Virtual Distance Maps.

FIGURE 5.1 Virtual Distance Map photo from “live” client engagement.

Some companies use software ...

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