WORLD VISION ASIA: BRINGING A VIRTUAL TEAM “TOGETHER” TO SAVE LIVES
In 2008, Nigel Russell and Carla Rogers created NoMad Meetings (www.nomadmeetings.com), where people can learn to collaborate and engage with anyone wherever they are, in a way that is easy an natural. Through NoMad Meetings, Carla and Nigel developed and delivered an online training series teaching people how to work and engage with others at a distance. As part of this for NoMad supported and mentored the World Vision Crisis Management Team.
This program focused on helping a community prepare for disaster. World Vision’s Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs is responsible for building capacity in the region for the Disaster Risk Reduction teams; however, travel costs prevented team building and skills development and could contribute to the unnecessary loss of life. NoMadMeetings was engaged to help bring the team “together” to develop a program and on-the-job skills through virtual means and directly improve the chances of saving lives.
Aid workers are resilient, resourceful and skilled. It was necessary to understand what their strengths were and how to use these strengths as a foundation for the project.
Action learning was the core process adopted by NoMad to help develops skills and capabilities, i.e. being a coach and guide “on the side” as our clients did their daily jobs. We identified two projects that could be completed with coaching and support from NoMad. Part of finding a place based solution was for World Vision to research options of how to best engage with the different centres for these workshops.
All interactions with NoMad were conducted at a distance. NoMad role modelled best practice and World Vision did the same.
The interactions with NoMad were an “eye opener” to World Vision on the effectiveness of powerfully facilitated online (virtual) engagements and what they could do to build capability with remote teams.
The Disaster Risk Reduction teams did not initially think they could undertake skills development without being physically together. However, through NoMad’s interactions, the Disaster Risk Reduction teams have increased their goal targets.