To run a successful global team, it is necessary to ensure that it is flexible, responsive, and innovative. Ensure that your team is culturally diverse, and includes members whose business activities span work together.
What is a Global Team?
A global team brings together people with the experience, knowledge, and skills to fulfil an organizations goals. For example, strategic global teams identify or implement initiatives that put the business in a better position in the marketplace. Operational teams focus on the efficient and effective running of the business across the whole network. They include information technology teams and head office teams.
Culturally diverse global teams perform three valuable roles. First, they create a global view of the business, while having a sound knowledge of local realities. Second, they have the potential for generating creative ideas and making fully-informed decisions. Third, teams representative of the organization’s international base are in a better position to ensure that new procedures are implemented throughout the business. Understand that no one person has all the answers in a global environment, and develop a “collective” intelligence.
Global teams can produce exceptional results, but they can also be dysfunctional. Dysfunction can be caused by many factors: if there are too many people of one nationality, they may dictate to the rest; language difficulties can result in the exclusion of one or more people; over-politeness may mean people repress real views. Recognize these issues and work to counteract them.
Examining the Functions of Global Teams
Team members who are based in various locations around the world can bring together specialist knowledge and insights. Together, they can produce a unique and valuable overview of the global market. Their roles may include:
- Analysis of external and internal risks to the business.
- Alertness to new opportunities, such as possible new markets to enter.
- Co-ordination of global projects, activities, and processes.
- Development of global strategy, products, services, and training.
- Responsiveness to new trends in the market, such as increased competition.
- Experimentation to generate radically new ideas and to test them.
- Integration of business activities to create efficient interaction.
- Transference of technologies, best practices, and knowledge.
- Assessment of diverse customer needs in key markets.