Your business has people on three continents. How do you keep them connected, and ready to collaborate?
Anat Binur, Co-Founder of Middle East Education through Technology (MEET), faces this problem every day. Since 2004, the MIT-staffed non-profit has been connecting Israeli and Palestinian high school students, in an effort to find, unite, and empower youth in an otherwise hostile situation. Binur, based in Silicon Valley, works with a team stretching from California, to the East coast of America, to the Middle East, and into Europe.
“MEET is a global organization,” she says. “One of the challenges is creating both a culture and a collaboration and actually getting things done.”
To effectively communicate with her team, Binur is no stranger to tools like Skype and Google Hangouts, but says technology still doesn’t provide the genuine connection that instills trust among team members.
“Even if you have all these technology tools, it’s very key to create interpersonal relationships,” she says. “Once in a while you have to have either physical meetings, or spend time to really build those relationships for everything else to really work effectively in such a global organization.”
So if you and your team are separated by thousands of miles, remember one thing: Use technology to enhance your relationships and foster a culture of trust among employees, not to replace them.