Virtual Teams: openly sharing our approach to leadership

Martin Hawksey (@mhawksey) and Maren Deepwell (@marendeepwell) publish a monthly series of posts openly sharing our approach to leadership.

If you are new here, you can catch up on earlier posts and podcasts below or find out more about ALT, the organisation we work for as senior staff. We really appreciate comments and feedback and welcome questions or suggestions for future posts.

All posts and podcasts are cross-posted on Martin’s blog here.



Virtual Teams: Things that don’t look broken still need fixing – we discuss equality, online collaboration and ‘The Open Organization Leaders Manual’.

Virtual Teams: special #femedtech podcast edition – we share our reflections on how to promote equality in a distributed organisation and our joint keynote for the University of the Highlands and Islands on International Women’s Day 2019.

Virtual Teams: When things get personal – we talk about professional development, meeting around a collaborative document, share tips for online meetings and examine the impact of your set up for home working.

Virtual teams: a special podcast edition – With the transition to becoming a distributed organisation and one year of leading our virtual team under our belt, we reflect on the highs and lows, the good and the bad and most importantly on what’s ahead as we continue to develop this project in open practice. 


Virtual Teams: Checklists, kindness and Secret Santa – nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more -we discuss checklists, how each of our staff invented their own scale to rate their week and treating others with kindness.

Virtual Teams: Remote crisis – we discuss ways in which we could develop our approach to virtual team leadership including dealing with critical incidents when you have a distributed workforce. Rather than sharing what we found works, we open up some of the questions we have and consider how we might find solutions that support sustainable development for a small virtual team.

The serious upsides of working in pyjamas –we discuss some of the more serious upsides to home working.

Pizza and virtual team dynamics –We are at the end of the busiest month of our organisation’s year in the run up to our Annual Conference. Getting here is a big milestone for our organisation and a real test for our approach to leading a virtual team.

Special podcast edition: Reflecting on the first six months leading a virtual team –We’re six months into our journey and in this special edition we look back at the highs and lows, share practical things we’ve learnt along the way and take our conversation from post to podcast to help us reflect and look ahead.

Virtual team, face to face team day: putting our blended approach to the test –Last time we discussed how we used GDPR as an opportunity to strengthen how we work as a virtual team. Since then we had our first face to face team day, an important milestone in creating a blended approach to running a virtual organisation.

Opportunity knocks: Using GDPR to strengthen virtual teams –This month we discuss our approach to GDPR, evolving virtual working practices and the importance of explaining the reasons for new procedures as part of implementing them.

3 months in… hitting our first milestones as a virtual team –This month we reflect on the first 3 months operating as a virtual team, delivering our first few big milestones and look back at the OER18 conference.

Developing collaboration as a virtual team –This is the second in a monthly series of blog posts in which we take an open approach to organisational transformation. In this series we share our experiences as senior staff leading our organisation to adopt virtual operations.

An open perspective on organisational transformation? –In this post we look back at February, the first month of virtual operations, sharing our perspectives on making a start as a distributed team.


  • Podcast 1: our first podcast, looking back at the first six months as a virtual team.
  • Podcast 2: recorded at the end of our first year of this project, we look back at some of the highs and lows, plan for what’s ahead and discuss how you do Secret Santa as a virtual team.
  • Podcast 3: in which we discuss @femedtech and equality as well as International Women’s Day.