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Downloads from the Virtual Working Summit 2011

Penny Pullan

Penny Pullan: Keeping People Interested and Engaged from Afar Monday 20th June

Penny Pullan PhD PMP CPF, your Summit Host, introduces this year’s Virtual Working Summit. She’ll talk about the ways of working that are most effective when you can’t be face to face and what behaviours to avoid completely! Feedback on Penny’s sessions tells us to expect practical and useful suggestions that we can implement straight away.

Penny is Director of Making Projects Work Ltd. and supports people who are grappling with tricky projects: be that virtual, risky, ambiguous or with complex stakeholder arrangements (or more likely, all four!) Gower are just publishing her first book: ‘A Short Guide to Facilitating Risk Management’ which is available on, and elsewhere. Penny created the Virtual Working Summit as a result of her work with financial services, utilities, pharmaceutical and consultancy clients, as well as international charities. She saw the need for this forum and filled the gap.

Penny’s session is here and you can find a short visual summary here.

Stephen Thorpe

Dr Stephen Thorpe: Better Online Relationships Tuesday 21st June

Dr. Stephen Thorpe is a Director of Zenergy in New Zealand. He’s an academic, facilitator, trainer, and educator who specialises in group work in the online world. He is passionate about assisting people to collaborate using a range of online technologies and trains people around the world in online facilitation skills.

Stephen loves researching ways to enhance the effectiveness of online groups and his Ph.D. explored the use of storytelling in the facilitation of online relationship development. The results were pretty clear and we can use them to our advantage. In his talk, he’ll explain how.

Stephen’s session on Better Online Relationships is here. You can find his chapter on Facilitation Online in The Art of Facilitation (2007) by Dale Hunter here.

NB This is a much clearer audio than we were able to make available during the summit week. Enjoy it!

Peter Taylor, the Lazy Project Manager

Peter Taylor: The Lazy Guide to Virtual Working Wednesday 22nd June

Peter Taylor has become known as ‘The Lazy Project Manager’ since his bestselling book of the same name was published a couple of years ago. It focuses on productive laziness and draws on his experiences of getting things done through projects in international companies.

As you can imagine, Peter has been using virtual working for many years. He’ll talk about how the same productive laziness and applying the 80:20 rule appropriately can help to get things done virtually.

Peter’s session on ‘A Lazy Guide to Virtual Working’ is here. Here’s an article on Virtual Teams from Peter too.

Rachel SmithDavid Sibbet

Rachel Smith and David Sibbet: Virtual Visual Meetings Thursday 23rd June

Just as social networking has reclaimed the Internet for human interactivity and co-creation, the visual meetings movement is reclaiming creativity, productivity, and playful exchange for serious work in groups. Anyone can implement powerful visual tools like graphic recording, visual planning, storyboarding, graphic templates, and idea mapping in meetings that are face-to-face, entirely online, or a blending of both.

In this call, David Sibbet and Rachel Smith of The Grove Consultants International will introduce the concept of visual meetings, discuss ways to bring visual tools into meetings of all kinds, and share tips from their own experiences with virtual visual facilitation.

Be sure to take a look at the visual recording created during the call, too!

Founded in 1977 by David Sibbet, their President and Founder, the Grove has helped a range of clients, from Fortune 500 businesses to nonprofit organizations, meet a diverse set of organizational challenges and achieve their goals. Learn more at here.

David Sibbet is a master facilitator, author of ‘Visual Meetings’ and ‘Visual Teams’ as well as many of The Grove’s tools and models for facilitation, team leadership and organizational transformation. He has appeared on TED to demonstrate his ideas and how they make such a difference to people and groups.

Within the Grove, Rachel is Director of Digital Facilitation Services and, as such, develops ways to integrate technology into visual meetings. She is a skilled visual facilitator and works with groups both online and in person. She is recognized for her work in making new technologies approachable through talks, trainings, and written materials. She blogs at

Rachel and David’s Visual Virtual Meetings Session is for download here. You can find some fabulous visual notes to accompany the session here. There’s even a short video summary here.

Real People using Virtual Working Everyday June 24th

Coalface day: we have the stories of five different people who work virtually. Each person talks about their typical ‘virtual working’ day, what challenges they and their organisations face with this work and what works for them. You’ll find some really practical tips as well as some very strong common themes from Helen, Sue, Stephen, Brian and Miles. Each session is short – around ten minutes. Thank you to all of them for their time and contribution!

Helen, a teleworker based in a remote rural location, who runs a European group in an international software company from there: (just under 8 mins) Download here

Sue, who runs a team of twelve people (almost all remote from her) as well as a project involving nearly 50 countries: (just over 9 mins) Dowload here.

Stephen, a change and improvement project manager in a multinational pharmaceutical company, working internationally: (just over 10 mins) Download here.

Brian, who works in a small global team of 9 people spread over 5 continents: (just under 12 mins) Download here.

Miles, who works in a financial instutuion in London with a global role. He spends many hours in conference calls: (just under 13 mins) Download here.