First, provide an online resource where team members can discover information about one another. Advertising legend David Ogilvy (of Ogilby & Mather) prepared his own version of this long before social networking sites became the fashion of the moment.
He founded an IT-based community which he named Truffles, believing that people should search for knowledge with the same energy and enthusiasm as a pig looks for truffles. It created hundreds of communities in which staff shared ideas and insights.
Second, ensure that some of the team members dispersed across borders already know each other. But avoid appointing too many of these, lest it make the team stale and predictable. Third, appoint 'boundary spanners' - people with lots of connections.
Working together...When apart
By Lynda Gratton
Business Insight, MIT Sloan Management Review
15 June 2007
Review by Morice Mendoza