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[Futurestack] How managers can drive Virtual Collaboration

A free example of one of our Futurestack themes, as part of the compound for managers in the 21st century digital era.

21st century managers face tough challenges in a digital, diverse, and distributed world. But there are some constants: the need to collaborate, to get things done, to delegate and decide, and to build trust. Read on to understand what managers need to know about the changing nature of collaboration when done 'virtually'.

This is a free sample of a week's content from our Futurestack compound for managers. Read it in one go or spread it over a week, like our subscribers do.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a creeping shift towards a hybrid mix of real and virtual across industries. So this is likely to be a trend that will be ‘sticky’ which has reached our shores. But we have been raised in the world of the ‘real’. How should we think about this?

Day #1 - An extreme example of a Virtual-first company

To begin, here’s a 2018 piece about a real estate company operating in a virtual world.



Day #2 - Rewire for a Virtual World

👉One way to rewire ourselves for a different world is to ask who has already figured it out.

Day 3 - Reflect

Think about this question (and add to your journal!)

"When it comes to collaborating virtually, what is one strength of yours that will fit in that world, and what is one area you need to work on?"


Say you were editing an important document on Google Docs and you saw another person ‘enter’ the document. Would you feel any of these emotions:

  1. Feel like they were peeking over your shoulders?

  2. Be unaffected?

  3. Say 'hi' via chat to register your presence?

Day 4 - Driving collaboration.

👉What should a leader do to drive communication & collaboration in a virtual, international world? Christoph Magnussen, an entrepreneur, about the way he thinks about this.

Day 5 - Quiz

In his video, Magnussen mentions this particular habit from the “10 Rockefeller Habits” system. Fill in the blank: “Communication ____ is established and information moves through the organization quickly”

  1. Hierarchy

  2. Timing

  3. Rhythm

In the HBR article, which of these do Interpreters for the Deaf do to help their clients see their signs more clearly?

  1. Wear colours that contrast with their skin-tone

  2. Avoid rapid hand movements

  3. Have a neutral expression

Day 6 - Tools for Virtual environments

For the time being, it looks like we’ll need different tools for different types of collaborative interactions. Here’s a list from Deloitte.

Day 7 - Fill Your Future Canvas

Fill out this week's Future Canvas to reflect on this theme and all that you read.

  • If you were to give a rookie a tip on virtual collaboration, what would you suggest?

  • What collaboration tools have worked very well for you?

  • Would you ‘enjoy’ a virtual reality office?


If you found these valuable, take your quest for future relevance to the next level. Join the Futurestack Compound for Managers to discover 10 trends you need to understand to keep you relevant.


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