Building a Successful Global Team » Mind Tools Blog

Building a Successful Global Team

February 10, 2014


Elisabeth Marks
Elisabeth Marx

Nowadays, it’s quite normal for team members to work in different time zones or countries, and to approach their work using differing cultural assumptions. This presents many challenges for leaders.

I recently met Elisabeth Marx in her London office to talk about leading a global team successfully. Elisabeth is the author of the book, “The Power of Global Teams.”

We talked about culture shock and diversity, as well as a framework she has developed, which looks at three levels of team development: governance, competencies, and dynamics.

I asked her how much control leaders have over the dynamics of their global teams. Elisabeth admitted that it’s “frankly, not predictable” when it comes to whether people like each other or not. But she advises leaders to assess the team spirit of candidates as part of the recruitment process, and she says that it’s also crucial to be clear about expectations of behavior, right from the start.

Listen to the full interview
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Check out the rest of our Expert Interview (premium members only) with Elisabeth for more of her tips on building and leading a global team.

Question: Are you part of a global team? What are your tips for working well with overseas colleagues? If you’re a team leader, what do you look for when recruiting global team members?

3 thoughts on “Building a Successful Global Team

  1. Midgie wrote:

    For me, being part of a global team is about having a certain openness (and patience) to the challenges of trying to get everyone together for online meetings. Sometimes takes several days and options to find a day and time that works with everyone.

  2. Carl wrote:

    I recommend meet-ups for the whole team to be in one place. Skype is great but it can’t replace face to face interactions. Budgets are tight but ask yourself what the increased productivity could yield if your team worked better together, appreciated one another’s differences and preferences better?

  3. Alice wrote:

    The problem with remote teams is that it is quite difficult to coordinate all the work. It’s important to find a way to arrange proper communication between all the team members. In my company some project management software is used (Easy Projects), and a project dashboard serves this function, because each person can see what happens at any moment and trace the progress, etc.

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