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What can be done to build a team across several countries?

Posted in International Management on March 21, 2012
There are (2) comments permalink


Martin is the Global Sales Director for a renewable energy company headquartered in the USA.  The company recently acquired two small competitors located in Spain and Germany, as well as a joint venture in China.  Martin has been given the task to create a global sales organization using the sales staff in all four locations.  The problem he is facing is that each company had their own process, still sees the others as competition and is loyal to their old ways.  When he first got the team together they were cordial but did not share much information with one another.  Since that meeting three months ago, there has been little dialog; Martin does not feel in control.  He decided to set up another meeting located in Spain.  He invited his entire global sales team and will review the results of the last quarter, goals for the next six months and his expectations for the integration of all four companies.  He needs to ensure that the group works together and stops fighting in the marketplace.

  • What can Martin do to build a team atmosphere respected by all cultures?
  • What tools can Martin use to improve communication between team members?
  • What can he do to hold the team accountable for success, not just individuals?

Comments (2)

Debbie Nicol posted on: August 24, 2012

I see Martin has an opportunity to embed the change by building the future together - does he need another meeting running the risk of deepening the silence?

1. What tools can Martin use to improve communication between team members?
The use of an online learning and development community that is based on social constructivist approaches (building meaning together), yet does not appear to be a learning tool but rather a collaboration tool. Moodle works very well for this - I facilitated the creation of a new strategy across 5 continents this way...

2. What can Martin do to build a team atmosphere respected by all cultures?
The forum questions over the 8 weeks had generic content at their heart, yet also encouraged local perspectives to come through. The system allows for responses and questions, forging sharing of perspectives, reasons and understanding.

3. The Balanced Scorecard ensures both accountability and ongoing improvement - a tool that places shared objectives at the co

LDGT200 posted on: April 25, 2012

At the next meeting have each team present their market situation tools they use grow and manage the business. The group can then work together to define best practices among them. Next he can breakout into small multicultural groups to tackle each business area that he would like to merge. Each group tasked with defining things that can be combined into a new universal process, and things that must stay regional. As a followup Martin can put implementation teams together consisting of cross-cultural members and assign one leader to each team. Everyone is a leader, and everyone is a member of the others team. So essentially, if they want the other countries to implement the practice that they are responsible for leading, they need to successfully implement the practice that they others are leading...it''s called peer pressure teamwork! Bonuses should be defined by successful implementation for each leader.

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