Personal effectiveness, team working and leadership skills for people working across cultures and time zones
As the web brings us closer together, and allows people to work more internationally and remotely, even small organizations are becoming more integrated and more global. The new work environment changes the nature of leadership and teamwork. From the outside, working a global environment can seem very attractive and even glamorous. Whilst this can be the case for many people, the reality is that our personal effectiveness and ways of working are affected by this environment, requiring new skills and tools to manage the change in complexity.
At Global Integration, we have, over the years, noted that although every organization and individual encounters different challenges, the main challenges and barriers that this work mode presents can be grouped into roughly five key areas:
When we working internationally we often work with people we rarely see and don’t get to know very well. There are huge implications for communication, effectiveness and, importantly, trust.
Cross cultural competence needs to be embedded into everything we do. Working with different cultures can lead to misunderstanding, and we need to understand that even company cultures can create differences. Whilst it’s easy to pick up the superficial differences from the many web guides and books that abound, a deeper awareness of diversity issues – and how to manage them – can prove far more valuable.
3. Time Zones
However much we wish they would, time zones won’t vanish! To prevent the frustrations and delays that this can cause, we need the tools to be able to at least manage, at best turn the difference to our advantage.
Whilst technology can be a help us cooperate remotely, it can also create unnecessary work in the shape of non-stop broadcast communications, one-way only (“tell”) web conferences and hundreds of unnecessary e-mails. Taming the technology can help us communicate in an engaging way, and encourage wider participation.
5. Organizational complexity
It is becoming the norm to work in complex organization structures, which often result in competing goals, multiple reporting lines and cross functional working,. Increasingly it also also involves working outside the organization with partners, customers and suppliers around the world to deliver products and services.
The transaction costs of international working can be very obviously high – like, for instance, the cost of travel. But cost, delay and dissatisfaction can be created by the communication and decision-making challenges, through cross-cultural misunderstanding and through the increased complexity that we introduce.
We need to find ways to reduce the hidden costs of cooperation and communication. We help people to become better connected and more cost-effective in ways that are appropriate to their own working environment and situation.
Training for global working
At Global Integration, we have developed training modules and intellectual property in all five areas, reducing the time is takes to develop a program specific to your needs.
We have two decades of experience working with complex, international and large organizations, and our training is usually delivered at one of three levels: teams level, personal effectiveness or leadership.
Our training is often applied in the context of:
- Cross-cultural training
- Global leadership training
- Teams training
- Training for individual contributors
- Integrating mergers and acquisitions
- Global accounts management
- Working with external partners
Our expertise in key practice areas includes matrix management and virtual teams, meaning we are ideally placed to develop programs to help overcome all five key barriers in addition to specific challenges.
It was amazing. All I did was ask if it was a good use of the company’s resources and my time to come all the way from Los Angeles to the meeting in London for a one hour section, and everyone readily agreed that it wasn’t! I joined the meeting by phone for my specific item. I saved two days of my time and over £5,000 in expenses.
Marketing Manager, Telecoms Equipment Industry.
Our weekly audio conferences used to be disorganized and cover too many topics that were only of value to a small number of the participants. I implemented the ‘clustering’ idea from the program: we now have much more focused calls, concentrating only on issues relevant to our cluster. The ‘whole team’ calls concentrate only on information that is relevant to all of us. I estimate we have saved an average of 30 minutes per week each for my team of 15 people – that’s over 10 weeks of time in each year!
International Sales Manager, Chemicals
Global Integration was one of my preferred suppliers ten years ago when I was Director of Global People Development. You ran some of our most popular and relevant programs on cross cultural working, matrix and remote team working. What impressed me was the power of word of mouth. We started running them globally but once people went they ran them locally and regionally as well. They knew how relevant they were to the challenges they faced in a complex organization and how well delivered they were.
HR Director, Telecoms
We deliver our highly participative consulting, coaching and training services globally either face to face, online (through our unique E-learning suite) or in a blended format (including live events, webinars and online tools as appropriate).
To the right of this page (on most devices) is a handy form to request more information – or contact us to speak to the specialist closest to you.
Last updated: July 2014