Contemporary Team Challenges (The Reality of Diverse and Virtual Teams)

Relating across barriers

Recognizing the unique challenges of contemporary teams - including virtual and diverse teams - and learning how to deal with these through participating in targeted experiential exercises.

Program concept

What happens when a team is not a team?
Diverse teams are a current organizational reality. Teams that cover a wide area and multifunctional purposes can have a broad and deep impact, but where team members are separated by geographical distance or more subtle social barriers (eg race, culture etc), significant problems can easily arise. Numerous studies reveal that the performance of teams whose members are separated by distance is highly challenged, so much so that up to 50% of virtual teams can fail to achieve their outcomes. Difficulties with communication and ensuring common understanding can lead to great tension and detrimentally impact on unified performance.


  • Simulates the unique parameters of diverse and virtual teams, and reveals the particular problems experienced by them. Gives program participants the opportunity to develop strategies that can improve individual team behaviors and overall team performance.
  • The main session can revolve around some unique activities designed by Tirian, including ‘To the Core’ (from Tirian’s On Thin Ice™ program) and/or ‘10 days in a whiteout’. (This module ideally follows on as a second day program after the On Thin ICE program and utilizes the same Antarctic exploration theme).
  • The challenges faced and frustrations experienced in these activities form the basis for a discussion about the issues contemporary teams face, with a focus on diverse and virtual teams.

Program Outcomes

Identifying specific needs of virtual teams
Exploring how problems associated with virtual teams can impact on group members and their performance
Establishing practical management strategies for virtual teams


  • A tailored team code of conduct
  • A virtual team project management plan for specific projects
  • Specific goals for follow-up

This is another original and unique program exclusively designed and presented by Tirian.