June 17, 2008

Seamless Business Across Time Zones

Moving back to the States from London in early May one of my primary goals was to be able to continue consulting in both countries. Six weeks later I'm happy to say that its going well. Yesterday I proved it to myself when I called a program participant in Bristol, England to discuss content for a leadership session she was unable to attend. Of course she could tell I was American by my accent but she had no idea I was calling from Washington, DC. I walked her through the powerpoint presentations and answered her questions about content.

At the conclusion of our conversation she said, "I look forward to meeting you at tomorrow's session." She giggled delightfully when I told her that I wouldn't see her there because actually I am in DC and my associate Martin would be facilitating the session. "Oh my, what time is it in DC?" When I told her 8am she giggled more.

There are a few reasons I can make this happen. Technology of course is top of the list. I am using Skype's voice over internet for calls to other skype users as well as to phones. Email allows me to arrange meetings and share documents regardless of time zone. And then my ability to speak British English is huge. Because I know the lingo of The Third Sector in the UK and how British people use English I'm able to communicate clearly. Plus, of course, the exotic factor of an American voice and way of thinking keeps me interesting.