Cross Functional (Global) Team Building
Is your organization challenged with building a global team for a critical project?
Are you seeking to align cross-functional teams in a time-challenged M&A or restructuring environment?
If you're faced with one or both of these scenarios, you know the challenges of designing and implementing enterprise-level global initiatives in today’s economic downturn. And, more recently, global events such as the unrest in the Middle East have added to the hurdles senior HR executives must overcome in managing global teams.
Now more than ever, cross-functional global projects in business and technology are especially in need of a nuanced and custom-tailored approach, as managing cross-functional and multicultural teams in disparate locations presents unique business and social challenges.
Cross-Functional & Multicultural TeamsA cross-functional team is a group of employees from different functions within an organization—such as human resources, information technology, marketing and finance—who are all focusing on a specific objective and have the responsibility to work as a team to achieve shared goals. Multicultural teams, on the other hand, are made up of people from different social and professional cultures, who work together toward a common goal.
Managing cross-functional teams is a complex endeavor by itself, but it becomes even more challenging when the multicultural component is added to the mix. In fact, in today’s global and knowledge-oriented environment, the alignment of human resources is just as important as raw materials, production and marketing, as a team that cannot work together will not produce much in terms of results.
What complicates the situation is that in today’s dynamic and volatile business environment, senior HR executives require a keen understanding of relevant factors impacting the formation and utilization of global teams. However, with cooperative, involved management from senior HR executives, global teams can gain the knowledge and confidence to collaborate effectively within the new environment through the self-creation of shared and actionable project plans.
This can create a “win-win” strategy in two important ways: First, the organization benefits by safeguarding vital, ongoing business operations and the completion of time- and budget-sensitive projects. Secondly, potential new leaders can be identified from within the organization.
Best Practices in Global Team BuildingThrough practical experience, we have been able to gain a high level of expertise when it comes to best practices in forming successful global teams. These include:
• Reaching an agreement on project goals, project plan and project scope definition
• Reviewing team composition and working styles
• Creating team cohesion and identifying strengths and weaknesses
• Managing cross-functional and multicultural communication issues
• Defining acceptable team behavior
• Providing top-notch management support from senior executives
At Chronos Consulting, we are experts at providing global team-oriented results, and have achieved the following for some of our client organizations:
- Saved $73M in sourcing costs for a global manufacturing firm by identifying and overcoming cross-cultural communication issues and clearly allocating responsibilities to teams in North America, Poland and China.
- Reduced costs by 18% for a $2.5 billion insurance company by building and aligning a cross-functional (HR/business/technology) international team from three separate companies, following various mergers and acquisitions.
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