While the world was just waking up to the limitless possibilities (and pitfalls) of remote workforces and virtual teams, Yael Zofi was already consulting with some of the world’s largest global players to set up and establish best practices for their newly emerging global workforces. To handle her in-demand status and to better serve her growing list of clients, she founded AIM Strategies®, Applied Innovative Management®, a human capital consulting firm focused on connecting people’s management challenges with strategic business solutions.Thanks to her executive project management and HR background, as well as her own cross-cultural experiences, global business consultant Yael Zofi identified patterns and solutions to the common problems these companies were having with their new global virtual teams, common problems such as:
- Working with people you don’t see
- Working with different cultures
- Running virtual meetings
- Handling extreme email overload
And most importantly—how to keep the human connection in virtual teams. Because first and foremost, virtual teams are about people—the people who make up the team, their working styles, and how they are managed. Through four books, hundreds of clients, and thousands of hours of training and teaching, Yael has never lost sight of the human connection that keeps virtual teams vital, relevant, and productive. She says:
“Technology that connects managers with their teams may do a good job of mimicking face-to-face contact, but there are no substitutes for the positive personal touch a manager can supply—even from across the globe.”
Yael has created many team-based assessment tools, facilitated global strategy retreats, designed international talent management programs, and facilitated merger integrations with six global organizations. Her most recent book, A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams, is the culmination of the wisdom and best practices she’s developed over years of managing, consulting with, setting up, and teaching about leadership and cross-cultural communications. It deals with the personal, practical, and logistical sides of managing teams from afar.
In addition to private coaching and consulting, Yael teaches at New York University and NYU School of Engineering. Her book Communicating Through a Global Lens: How to Broaden Your Perspective in a Cross Cultural World, now in its second edition, is used regularly as a textbook in international graduate programs. As a global business consultant, she regularly offers in-person and virtual seminars, keynotes, and audio conferences at prestigious organizations, such as Project Management Institute (PMI), American Management Association (AMA), Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), American Society of Training & Development (ASTD), Society of HR Management (SHRM), OD Network (ODN), and International Leadership Association (ILA).