At my previous engagement, we used to have a phone conference with the China team every Monday night. Many emails are sent back and forth with replies in various co lors. Net Meetings and instant messaging sessions abound. Yes, there’s still something lacking in this form of communication but you gotta admit, these are some pretty neat forms of communicating with global teams.
That said, sometimes there’s no substitute for getting something quickly done than by meeting in person. Developing these relations serves as a gauge for reading comfort levels, knowledge meters, and personal gas tanks. Once we have the status of these gauges on our personnel dashboard, only then can we move forward as a global team. The team we have is solid and fun to work with. I’ve included a link to the pics of my amazing experience: http://s154.photobucket.com