Teamwork and Communications Challenges
You are one of four regional Human Resources Managers employed by Ace Consulting, an international consulting firm. You have been assigned to the International Sales division. Currently, one HR Manager is assigned to each of the four global regions: the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. You report to the Corporate HR Director.
It has become apparent to management that their global customers are critical to their future growth. If there is a need to serve any locations of a customer in another region, there is no good contact point or process to handle it. This gets confusing and is not effective for the larger customers. There is a desire to greatly improve the communication and coordination across regions. Top Ace management has decided that the sales force needs to be organized in teams across regions to better serve these critical global customers.
The HR Director has given you and the other three HR managers the task of developing and implementing a new global-team-based sales force. You will need to design the appropriate team make-up, determine the best way to staff these teams, provide guidance on developing a consistent global approach, design the team-building tools needed to establish these teams, and conduct the necessary training. You also need to design a compensation program that will support the team concept, give incentive to the best performers, and maintain a stable workforce.
You and the other HR managers are working with a training consultant on a program for cross-cultural supervisors. You are contributing information and expertise in the area of dealing with conflicts when they arise on a team, with a focus on how areas of conflict can be complicated by cultural differences in team members.
The training consultant has asked you to prepare notes for them describing two situations where you saw that communication issues on a team you were involved in that caused a serious misunderstanding and led to problems.
- If only only one member caused the problem, was the problem obvious to others, or were you the only person who noticed it? How did you deal with it?
- If the problem was primarily between two team members and did not directly involve others on the team, what caused this problem? How did the team deal with it?
Also, they want you to suggest a communication strategy that would have prevented these issues.