Successful People Strategies for Innovation in Global Delivery and Virtual Teams


While we often do not see great product innovation from countries that have traditionally a strong presence as global delivery destinations (China, India or Eastern Europe), a lot of innovation exists in the underlying processes, management models or as “hidden” innovation inside products we perceive coming from developed markets. At the same time, innovation will not happen without highly engaged people, glued together by a strong sense of urgency and common mission. Way too often, companies believe that through a set of global processes and policies they can create a functioning global delivery organization or a distributed R&D landscape and that local talent will unquestioningly follow them, as long as the pay cheque displays a high figure. Though the global firm needs global processes and a set of standardized policies and common values, it is by far not sufficient. A global people strategy including local values and true participation will open many avenues for the globally distributed centers to have a diverse set of policies. It does not only provide a better local fit, but also increases the employee engagement significantly. As a result, employees will be encouraged to actively work towards a better working environment, better products, and better services—and ultimately solve many of the challenges in their everyday work, through innovative solutions. This article describes proven people strategies to create a highly innovative global workforce.