Think global, act local

Global organizations need local approaches for outstanding team performance

Think global, act local

Team performance

Achieve great team perfomance globally, with a local approach

Your local customers expect local service, no matter how big you are

Developing team performance for more agile, resilient organizations

Global with local sensitivity

You are in a team in Italy but the parent company is in Germany. The parent company expects the site you work at, the team you work in, to behave the same way wherever you are based. Is that realistic? 

No, it probably isn’t. Every culture is different. The way your teams work in France is different to the US, is different to China, is different to Africa. You may all work for the same company but you are all individuals who come from different countries, cultures and languages. The companies which recognize that, are the ones who discover a powerful competitive advantage.

Are you saying, “We need a standardized approach, we can’t have everyone doing their own thing” ? Can you deliver outstanding global service and achieve great team performance using a local approach?

Consistent and flexible

You’re right, you do need standardization. You want the same quality of service or product wherever in the world your customers are. That doesn’t mean it has to be exactly the same words, language or behavior though. You use different languages when you talk to your customers depending on where they live. Even when you speak the same language, you will probably be sensitive to the difference in words or tone of voice, when you talk to a customer. It’s the same with your local teams.

If you expect every team at every site in every country to work in the same way, you are on the path to creating dysfunction in your teams. 

Dysfunction in teams

Dysfunction can happen when we overlook things we take for granted. For example, we all have values. Your organization has specific values, and each of us comes to work with our own personal values. Those values are shaped by the culture we grow up in, the country we come from and the language we work in. Your company might put integrity at the top of the list but what integrity means for your team will depend on which country it’s in. If your team is cross-cultural, or stretches across several countries, saying “integrity” to the team will mean that a lot of different values come into play. If you are the team manager, it’s a mistake to assume that everyone is thinking what you are thinking. Trying to force them to think like you won’t work either. You need to help everyone in the team, understand what everyone else means when you say “integrity”.  Then you can help everyone work together constructively and with understanding. 

Your teams are so powerful. If you can tap into the potential of the teams who work for you, you can find strengths and capabilities you didn’t know existed. You can be the company that says, “bring your ideas, your enthusiasm and energy to work. We value what you have to offer.”

Or you can be the company that says, “No we don’t want your ideas. Ideas aren’t your job. R&D do that.” It happens, more often than you might think.

If your teams are not working as well as they could be, try asking why. You can start with these questions. 

The 5 dysfunctions of a team: Lencioni's model

  • Is this a cultural mindset? For example, giving and receiving feedback, the role women have at work, the contribution made by each person in a team, can all be heavily influenced by the culture or country the team is based in
  • Is this a corporate mindset? It takes time to change the corporate approach. If the established culture is one of strong command and control leadership, it will take time to change that to a distributed leadership approach
  • Is it a team mindset? Individual teams and leaders can get stuck in a pattern of thinking and behaving. Working on the team dynamics, the culture of the team, the team behavior can change everything. That’s where we work – helping the team to find and fulfill its potential

As you can see from Patrick Lencioni’s model above,  trust is the basis to developing both a healthy team discussion and the mutual commitment, which leads to great performance.  

Great teams don’t happen because someone says they need to happen. Teamwork is a fusion of many people, values and behaviors. The team manager can help a team to develop or can create dysfunction. To create great local teams which deliver locally and globally, every person in the team needs to be engaged, encouraged and enabled to be an active part of the team.

“Things changed so much, that work is now peaceful. We help each other, we support each other and we work together as a team. This is all because of the training.”
UNICEF
Team Manager

Wherever you are in the world, whatever language your teams speak, we can help you find development tools which work specifically for you. With international specialists in team performance & development based in 4 continents, we will be happy to discuss what you want to achieve. Do get in touch if you would like to talk. We understand teams. 

Tim Cox is one of our international team development specialists. He is Australian, lives in Austria, works in both German and English so Tim understands about cultural differences. Tim works with teams across the world, in both local and global organizations. He has developed specific approaches to helping teams understand who they are and how they can work together effectively, to deliver the great performance which they are capable of achieving. 

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