Are you trying to enhance the performance of your multi-cultural teams across cultures?

Multi-cultural teams are increasingly being formed by larger companies. In some cases it may just be due to the composition of a work-force in a particular location. In other cases (e.g. design centres, call centres) it may be to gain the capability of being able to respond to international client needs effectively. A strategic reason may be in order to develop management teams which can solve international problems coherently while taking all of the various cultural features into account through the representative mix of the team.

Unfortunately, assembling an international team together and making it work as a team involves more than putting personnel from different cultures together and hoping something will happen. Normally nothing does happen – people co-work and somehow co-exist, but they do not necessarily work at common solutions. In order for multi-cultural teams to work productively, team-building at various levels has to happen. On the cultural level this involves team members coming to a full understanding of the processes they are involved in, such as different way issues are ‘debated’, how decisions are taken or problems solved.

There is normally little point in putting together multi-cultural teams, if these international team-building issues are not given proper attention. Some of the processes, issues or skills that may need to be worked on are: