Virtual Teams

Global Teamwork on the rise

The COVID experience has accelerated change ways of working. Many more people are working in a remote and hybrid pattern, and accelerated digital transformation is driving faster, more technology enabled and more agile collaboration. Now we are seeing an additional trend in an increased demand for training around global leadership and global team working.

In the 28 years we’ve been operating in this space it is very common to see an increase in virtual working and connectedness leading to an increase in regional and global collaboration.

We started the business in response to a wave of integration of businesses in Europe in 1994 following the “completion of the single European market” (remember that?). We even called our company, perhaps optimistically at the time, “Global Integration”.

Over time, improving telecoms and reducing travel costs started to make collaboration across distance easier to achieve.

Once you reduce barriers to collaboration and distance becomes less of an issue, then it becomes less and less sensible to restrict your collaboration to the people who happen to be in the same location as you. It makes sense to reach out to the best talent wherever it is in the world, to bring in diverse ideas and develop solutions that are applicable in more than just your home market.

The next 20 years were a steady march towards increasing globalisation and integration of international organisations, driven by market conditions and enabled by steadily improving remote collaboration technology.

Globalisation generally has seen a few reverses in the years since the financial crash in 2008/9, but most large organisations have continued to create more integrated international organisations.

This latest wave of enforced virtual working has again weakened the link between collaboration and proximity. Given this, we are already seeing

  • an increase in demand for training in working across cultures
  • more inquiries about global teamwork and global leadership
  • an increased demand for programs around introducing a global operating structure
  • an increase in discussions about the skills needed to manage people when outsourcing internationally
  • an influx of customers from new geographies that traditionally worked with local suppliers and are now more open to global expertise

A move to global working brings additional sources of complexity to leadership and collaboration requiring us to be successful across barriers of distance, cultures, time zones and working through technology. As companies become more integrated, they also often introduce some kind of matrix or other highly connected business operating model which adds additional challenges of multiple reporting lines common multiple teams, accountability without control and influence without authority.

For some organisations the pace of change is such that all of these dimensions are new to their managers and teams. Others may just be new to working across cultures, or working in a matrix.

Whatever your challenges in making global collaboration and leadership work, we can help with extensive experience of over 28 years of working with major multinationals around the world. Why not get in touch?

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We are deep content experts in remote, virtual and hybrid working, matrix management and agile & digital leadership. We are highly flexible in how we deliver our content and ideas. We can tailor content closely to your specific needs or deliver off the shelf bite sized modules based on our existing IP and 25 years of training experience.

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