Archives For Global teams

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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

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While nearly everyone in today’s global workplace recognizes the need (and appreciates the value) of collaborative work, it is not easy – especially when cultural differences, time zone challenges, work and communication styles enter the equation. Despite this, true global collaboration is simply too valuable not to take advantage of because it provides you, as a leader, with a significant opportunity to leverage learning, negotiate meaning, and share aptitudes – creating high potential sources of competitive advantage.

The rapid pace of globalization and the growing number of collaborative technology solutions have enabled virtual work while the demand for skills from around the world have made it a necessity. However, collaborative teamwork in virtual environments is not intuitive. It’s far more than dealing with technology and time zones – it is about people and the value that cross-cultural, virtual collaboration can bring to the organization.

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Every organization is comprised of people with different worldviews. It is inescapable – recent statistics indicate upwards of 90% of business’ have a culturally diverse workforce. What does this mean for you as a leader? It means… You Can Run, But You Cannot Hide. It means… if you want to succeed, Cultural Integration should become a critical component of your business strategy.

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We all have different worldviews based on our various life experiences. In today’s business environment, bringing people from different backgrounds together and appreciating the diversity of viewpoints and perspectives in a cohesive way becomes very complex. Cultural Integration is really, in its simplest form, about bringing those diverse people together to leverage the unique strengths of the individual parts to create a stronger, more competitive whole.

So what can you do to build Cultural Integration into your organization?

Some confrontation at work is expected (even healthy), however if there are individuals in your organization with Chronic Confrontationitis, it’s up to you, as a leader, to protect your organization. Afflicted individuals have the nasty habit of separating people from information, social situations, peers, tools to do their job, affection and admiration… as well as hard earned acknowledgement and praise.  They actively create a culture where people feel “less than”, causing both emotional and physical stress.

Without the acquisition of effective strategies to combat Chronic Confrontationitis, competent team members may end up with damaged careers or become so uncomfortable with the conflict in the environment that they opt out all together.  If you, or individuals within your organization, are impacted by someone with Chronic Confrontationitis, there are several things you may want to consider:

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I have frequently done business in Japan throughout my career. It is interesting how the country and the culture have changed over time, but beneath its surface lies an extremely productive and effective society.

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To the outsider – or gaijin, as we are known to the locals – Japanese business customs appear to be so deeply entrenched in culture and tradition that they couldn’t possibly be applicable to the rest of the world. But don’t be too quick to write off the value that Japanese business practices offer the rest of the world… Continue Reading…

While cultural misinterpretations can make for a good laugh amongst friends, the same mistake in a business setting can permanently damage your reputation with colleagues, employees… or clients.

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As the world becomes “smaller”, the need for strong cross-cultural skills continues to increase at an alarming pace. Whether you work in your home country with people from other cultures or you live in a culture other than your own, doing business with people having alternative worldviews is always a challenge.Technological advances in transportation and communication may make logistics easier, but the challenge of cross-cultural communication remains constant. As you consider how to work with people different from yourself, consider some basic tips that you may find helpful: Continue Reading…