Globalization and rapidly changing technology continue to sweep the world. All organizations work across boundaries and borders of one type or another and face significant challenges as they seek to reach and maintain market leadership. Inherent in those challenges are often unrealized opportunities. One such opportunity, teams, offer a wealth of leverage to the discerning leader. Our research repeatedly identifies the following advantages when teams are leveraged effectively:
– Economies of scale and scope are realized
– Effective learning & knowledge transfer takes place
– Strategic capabilities are enhanced
– More innovative products and services are developed
– Better understanding of customers is achieved
– Strong cultural intelligence fostering competitive advantage is accomplished
In today’s complex marketplace, success depends on a company’s ability to work effectively across different functions and cultures in order to drive innovation and capture market share. As a leader, you must go beyond motivating people from very different cultural backgrounds, experience and leadership styles – you need to create an environment that facilitates team collaboration across boundaries and borders. There is simply no better better way to understand and strategically exploit the marketplace.
Multi-cultural, multi-functional teams are, at the same time, the most challenging teams to elevate to high performance and the highest performing teams available when properly developed. Indeed, diverse teams can be considerably more complex than homogeneous teams, but also far more creative and effective… but only when they are built and managed with in-depth understanding and expertise. This requires you, as a leader, to consciously and intentionally develop multi-functional, multi-cultural groups of people to drive the best results for the organization and its clients.
Despite the layers of complexity inherent in developing teams with varied capabilities, worldviews and expertise, such groups offer their companies distinct advantages. They provide diversity of thought and perspective that leads to ongoing innovation, which ultimately drives better business results. The philosophy and uniqueness of assorted worldviews and functions brings richness to problem-solving. The different methodologies used in product and service development (and an openness to diverse methods) leads to better products and services, leveraging differences for innovation, collaboration, and ultimately, organizational success.
As a responsible leader, what then is your responsibility?
It’s simple, but not easy: You must create and develop diverse groups of people as strategic assets – leverage them to gain competitive advantage. Invest in innovation and diversification through your people to create blue ocean strategies instead of continuing to fight in overcrowded seas for small pieces of market share. Strategically use the unique knowledge that is inherent in your organization. For you and your organization to succeed, you must continually find ways to maximize the contributions of your entire workforce. Diverse teams are the seldom leveraged keys to unimaginable success, because diverse people are truly the only sustainable competitive advantage in today’s complex, global economy. The effectively leveraged team will certainly add up to more than the sum of its parts, revealing the keys to your success just waiting to be discovered and appreciated.
You can contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next Wednesday for the next installation on Global Leadership Across Boundaries & Borders.