5 Top (Free & Easy) Virtual Collaboration Tools that You May Not (Yet) Be Using


“When organizations elect to create virtual teams, they focus on the potential advantages, such as the diversity of the team, or the potential for ’round the clock’ productivity with employees working in multiple time zones. However, companies must also be aware of the challenges that accompany virtual teams. For these groups to be successful, managers cannot use the old rules of leadership. New ways of working require different skills.”

Karen McHenry

The success of virtual teams requires new rules of leadership and new skills, as Karen suggests, but also new tools. The tools we use to collaborate can make or break our effectiveness. How do we establish trust when we rarely if ever see one another? How do we build a new relationship with someone we’ve never met? Can technology help in this regard? Of course it can. It can also get in the way, causing more problems than it solves (how many times has a phone call or video conference cut in-and-out, or the sound during a webinar not worked properly?).

In this blog post I share with you my selection of Five Top Free Virtual Collaboration Tools available today, and my guess is you’re not using most of them. Trying them out may greatly increase your virtual team effectiveness. First, let me give you a bit of context, to aid  in your use of the tools.

(Click page numbers below to read more.)

Have You Taken Advantage of Our Free Webinars?

Night work

  • “Really? You are logging into this webinar, willingly and of your own accord, at midnight? No joke? And for you it’s 3 am?”
  • “Yes! I am so very excited to be here! Thank you for offering this learning opportunity!”

The response to the free “Cross-Cultural Effectiveness” webinars we have been conducting since February of this year has truly overwhelmed me. We’ve already welcomed hundreds of participants from six of the seven continents, including a broad diversity of professions and experiences—from hospitals to schools, disaster relief to hospitality. I’ve had the pleasure to meet incredible people who are building cross-cultural competence and using or hoping to use Cultural Detective in the most creative and needed ways! It has been such a joy and learning experience. Thank you all!

People don’t need to be inconvenienced by the time difference to participate in these webinars. We offer them twice a month, once at times convenient to the Americas, Europe, and Africa, and another more convenient to Asia and Oceania.

Would you like even better news? Those who participate receive a COMPLIMENTARY 3-day pass to Cultural Detective Online!

I’ve promised myself to use a different critical incident each and every webinar, and it’s amazed me the richness of the discussion this has generated, the powerful ways in which we can overcome stereotypes, the innovative ways the groups have generated to harness the power of diversity.

We also are committed to conducting special-interest webinars for you, to aid in ongoing cross-cultural competence development. Thus far we have held two, both in partnership with customers and colleagues: one on virtual teaming, and another on coaching across cultures. Stay tuned for future additions to the schedule!

If you would like to participate in a webinar, or get more of your colleagues and friends excited about intercultural competence, please register now. We have just updated the calendar through the end of December 2013.

If you use Cultural Detective in your work, and you would like to share what you do and how you do it in hopes of helping others succeed, please contact us. We may be able to partner on an upcoming webinar, or share your story in a future blog post! We also welcome your topic ideas. Keep ’em coming!