Ensure success that's both global and local

By William Seidman In our 15 years of work on performance improvements with global teams in multi-national organizations, we’ve found that three elements make a huge difference to success. Alignment on purpose. Teams that take the time to really discuss and align on the greater social good they are trying to create don’t need as much interpersonal communication because they all understand that they are working toward the same compelling outcome. It is easy to trust others to do the right thing when there is profound alignment. Define a clear “path to mastery.” When a team takes the time to discuss and align on how they will manage themselves and organize their work for maximum effectiveness, which is much more than just doing a project plan, the team does not need much additional time for interpersonal interaction. Everyone knows what they are supposed to do and by when and can be trusted to get the work done or appropriately raise issues. Balance mass work with local. By explicitly defining what needs to be held in common versus what can be handled locally, the team can lessen the potential conflicts. Thinking from the perspective of mass customization provides the benefits of team synergy while allowing local autonomy. When all of these come together, global teams work very well. The team can trust that everyone is focused on doing the right work and that they are good at the work while still feeling empowered to make local choices.]]>

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