Collaborating Perfectly in Large Global Teams.
Companies across the globe is navigating through the service landscape, scouting for the perfect solution to assist their employees across the globe. The problem is companies are becoming more and more specialized and the talents in projects can be on 5 continents working together, in order to bring the brightest minds together. So in order to achieve higher performance companies are scouting for the perfect Global collaboration platform that can reduce the increasingly coordination costs: incompatible schedules can lead to project delays, cross-cultural or linguistic misunderstandings can create non-billable rework, and technology failures can cause missed deadlines. No cross-border matter is truly routine because each involves coordinating professionals with different assumptions and ways of working.
Remote work can be complicated because it affects both the way we feel and think being far from the team members. For one, it can promote us as a company and them as individuals thinking — that is, it can lead us to group our colleagues into categories rather than see them as individuals. This critical cognitive short-cut helps us to simplify our ever more complex environment. But it also has bad consequences because we tend to view those in our in group more positively, and those in our out-group more negatively. That’s why the otherness of our distant colleagues is reinforced daily and on many dimensions. Speaking via video conference with a colleague in a different country, who speaks with an accent, exhibits different cultural values, and is only available for two hours of your normal workday makes that person seem a world apart and this is some of the major challenges globalisation is bringing to the workplace.
Think about a regular office, you normally know a lot about your colleagues but with the distance it limits the amount of information we hold about our colleagues. What technology suffers is the human touch, we all know that having a commute prolonged due to bad weather or being sleep-deprived due to a sick child affects our day. Unfortunately, barriers in the form of distance, time, culture, language, and technology all stand in the way of communicating such information. When interacting with distant colleagues we lack a large percentage of the information we rely on to collaborate effectively.
The current social collaboration platforms does not allow people to post their mood, or actually help people understand each other. Voogy on the other hand is working with different solutions to solve these exact issues for companies. Employees when they log on to Voogy in the morning they are asked how they feel today and can pressed Energised, Jet-lagged and many other descriptive feelings, so when people communicate they are aware that John is jetlagged.
When the human touch is added into the social collaboration, people tend to build a deeper understanding towards each other.
Despite companies having difficulties when it comes to global collaboration, there are a couple ways to avoid the common pitfalls while delivering exceptional cross-border service.
Focus on commonalities: The problem with us and them thinking is that we focus on our differences over our similarities, but it’s just as easy to reverse our focus, making the experience more personal is a way Voogy is overcoming this issue. Highlighting the things we have in common with our distant colleagues is the another way to reduce the problem.
Looking into the commonalities they should be the shared objective.
- Reminding your team of its shared and distributed goal = success. Always have an open discussion around the question: Why are we working across the globe in teams? Remind the team why you have chosen to collaborate with colleagues at another location — whether it is to better serve global clients, to provide a more complete solution, to leverage dispersed knowledge, or a combination of the above — and make sure everyone holds the same goals, make them understand why the counter part across the globe is delivering superior value.
- Recognize what is your interdependence in reaching your objectives. Ask yourself the simple question: “Why does my success depend on my distant colleagues?”.
If you don’t have a ready answer to either question, you should rethink whether the benefits of a global team outweigh the costs. But if you do have an answer, that discussion will focus team members on common objective and interdependence, turning us and them into we.
Transform Information: Focusing on commonalities, however, will only get you so far because every day the information asymmetries between locations serve as a constant reminder of the differences between offices. Unfortunately, there is no silver lining. The only way to combat these asymmetries is to work hard to counter them. Effective global collaborations have processes and procedures designed into them that force information sharing across locations.
- Schedule regular meetings and reasons to get in touch to share task-related information. It is important to touch base regularly, rather than on an as-needed basis, because we often don’t recognise when the knowledge we hold is needed by our distant colleagues.
- Use the right software such as Voogy. Our natural tendency is to ask for help from the people we know well, even if they’re not ideal for the job. But Voogy allows people in general to ask their peers for help, and other watchers can subscribe to the answers to gain knowledge. Ideally, think broader than just the pure content expertise: the perfect contributor for a cross-border matter is one who also has sufficient cultural intelligence to operate in a global team.
Whether a quick session of a webcam or a verbal walk through, the objective is to help your distant colleagues understand the environment in which you are working.
Effective global collaboration, as we all know, is very difficult. But today Voogy have made it easy and simple to overcome these obstacles, and creation cross-functional high performance teams globally.