August 21, 2013


After many years of being away from holding an operational management role in both the private and public sectors here in the UK, I find myself once more managing, facilitating and leading a team of people.

They all have a role to play in the development of services and products created within the LearningVoice family of brands.  However, things have changed considerably since I left permanent employ as a senior manager back in 2002.

Firstly, these are not employees, but independent freelancers who are specialists in their own fields of expertise.

Secondly, none of them work full-time with me and all have their own businesses to run.

Thirdly, they live and work in many different office locations around the world:

Alison, Ann, Ces, Rowena, Anita, Jakki, Geoff, Richard and Venita are in the UK. 

Sarah, Judith and Beata are in Spain.

Greg, Astri, Azizah, Stefano, Dody and Irsyad are in Indonesia.

Pascal is in Dubai.

Manar is in Kuwait.

Gonca, Gurcan and Nazan are in Turkey

Maxim, Pavel, Oksana and Natalia are in Russia.

Adela, Evija and Vanda are in Latvia.

Fourthly, and most importantly, they don’t actually need to work together to undertake their role.

So what do they have in common?

Well, they are all now part of my ‘virtual project team’ supporting LearningVoice development.   There is no requirement for them to work with each other, however, there is a need for some inter-dependency as opposed to solely independent working.  This is vital if the brand and focus is to be maintained.  Too many strands can dilute the brand and steer us ‘off message’.

So, is this is a team or simply a group of people that I have brought together under the one umbrella that is LearningVoice?  What skills must I now dust off and re-use from my managerial days?  Should I focus on leading rather than managing?  What about quality and consistency?  How do other people management skills get employed in this very different situation?

I have spent the last ten years working for myself and on my own.  Like many other sole traders, I had to adjust to this way of working.  Now, the trend is to utilise other people and NOT do it all yourself.  Seems like it is time to brush up on my own managerial skills and re-learn and re-use what I know and have taught others on management and leadership programmes, but with a twist so as to adapt to this more flexible agile way of working with ‘virtual teams’


Website:  jozefafawcett.com

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