Are You Having a Party Managing Global Teams?
Managing Global Teams– It’s 12 noon, the in-person Chicago meeting you led just ended; the client wants answers; John is heading home from the UK office; Seiko in Japan is asleep; you’re expected in Atlanta for dinner with your spouse and your spouse’s boss; and the global network just went down. These are real-world issues for the 21st century executive. What do you do next? You’ve built your team’s success around work/life balance and choosing an approach inconsistent with those values could be dangerous. However, losing valuable client business would be equally devastating. Your concerns are accurate and are encountered every hour of every day – somewhere around the globe.
The combination of today’s always connected technology, software, apps, social media and a variety of telecommunications accessible anytime, anywhere makes managing global teams unencumbered by distance and time. The ability to effectively conduct day-to-day, minute-to-minute global operations management however, does take thought, effort, and mindfulness on the part of a project team leader.
Thus, continuing our scenario: after cocktails and dinner with you, your boss, and your spouse’s in Atlanta, you review the last few hours of activities among your global project team members:
Early in her morning, Sieko has emailed client concerns to her team. John tele-attended the entire meeting in Chicago and, in real-time, communicated discussion details to key colleagues. Text messages have already arrived from your team stating everyone will be prepared for the 30-minute follow-up call once you land in Atlanta. You make one call to IT for updates before boarding your flight. The 30-minute call runs smoothly, finishing prior to joining your spouse and her boss for cocktails. Afterwards you sleep soundly knowing you successfully orchestrated a strong team effort embracing global operations management and as a strong “plus” you represented yourself well and at the same time your important client will have answers by 9:00 am Chicago time.
The key to managing expectations is quality leadership and trust. Knowing how to navigate roadblocks, such as technology malfunctions, requires proper contingency planning with your team well before mishaps occur. Clear direction regarding responsibilities and delegation creates the balance we all want in our lives.
Catch up with us next week for part two of this post on managing global teams. You curious types will want to know what occurred during the 30-minute call. In the meantime, let us know you are out there and send a quick comment about this post.