Global leaders everywhere are now realizing how critical global teams are to future competitiveness and overall productivity. The power of global teams to respond expeditiously to corporate challenges has become a key component to a company’s ultimate ability to succeed in demanding and constantly evolving environments. Despite knowing the reality of today’s networked-style global organization, very few have successfully developed and leveraged global teams. Although they are consistently seen as essential for global prosperity, these teams are left to fail more often than their success is facilitated. The reality is that global teams generally have more talent and potential than other types of teams by sheer force of their diversity. Yet this potential is often squandered because of an innate inability of both the team and the organization to harness the power of the global team. It is essential that corporations begin to break down the complexities of global teams and facilitate an understanding of the challenges inherent to the concept – successfully creating and deploying global teams is one of the most significant business challenges of this century.
As an individual strives to become an Extreme Global Leader, s/he will come to realize that people, across boundaries and borders, will determine whether or not s/he wins at the great game of business. Made up of people, global teams are the modus operandi for getting things done in organizations – and within global organizations there is a critical requirement for global teams. One can attempt to build an exceptional, culturally diverse team by design and by talent, but will likely fail. One may put together a team of specialists from across the various regions, but that will not create what is needed to ultimately win. Performance depends on both individual excellence and on how well the team works together across their disparate locations and functions. “Alignment” emerges when, despite culturally diverse backgrounds, a group of people understands the unique value of each player and leverages that value to function as a cohesive, global whole. When a global team becomes aligned, a commonality of direction emerges, and individual efforts synchronize with the whole. Synergy evolves – there is commonality of purpose, a shared global vision, and an inherent understanding of how to leverage one another’s talents – despite disparate cultures and functions. Alignment is the “X Factor” of global teams, making them Extreme.
Exceptional team development across boundaries and borders is the process of aligning and developing the capacity of the team to create the winning results. It builds on the discipline of developing shared vision. It also builds on personal mastery: talented teams are made up of talented individuals. But the bottom line is that shared vision and talent are not enough to create an Extreme Global Team. The world is full of talented teams who share a vision for a while, yet they fail to learn and grow together, and ultimately fail to win. Extreme sports champions have talent and a shared vision, but what really matters is that the team knows how to play together – Extreme Teams in organizations are no different.
There has never been a greater need for the development of Extreme Teams in global organizations than there is today – yet they are not common, and even more rare, successful. A significant portion of important global decisions are now made in teams – directly or through the need for teams to translate individual decisions into global organizational actions. If global teams are developed with the focus and intent on learning to excel as a cohesive unit, organizational insights are gained that can be translated into exceptional results. Skills are developed that can propagate and motivate other teams to be exceptional across the organization and across the world. Most of all, the Extreme Team’s accomplishments can set the tone and establish a standard of excellence for the larger organization, across boundaries and borders.
The power to link and leverage, as well as to move and manipulate resources, enables organizations to provide superior products and services at a lower cost that will quickly overwhelm competitors who do not use global teams effectively. Aligned global teams exponentially increase competitive advantage as they will attract the best talent, create and develop the best products and services, and ultimately attract the best, and most loyal, customers. Are YOU building an Extreme Team?
You can contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next Thursday for the next installation of Leadership Across Boundaries & Borders.