Turning Common Hurdles & Pitfalls into Global Team Successes


Did you know that more than one-third of employees work on at least one virtual team? As the building blocks of global organizations, virtual teams provide companies with access to diverse skill sets and expertise, as well as round-the-clock business hours for efficiency. As today’s marketplace becomes increasingly global, it is important for companies to form proper strategies in order to overcome the many hurdles associated with working globally.

The importance of global teams cannot be understated. From our research, we found that companies mainly establish these global teams in order to:

  • Increase Global Operational Excellence – Most companies use Global Teams to achieve operational excellence in some form. These include efficiencies, economies of scale, standardization and alignment of processes, and harmonizing systems.
  • Build a Global Mindset and Perspective
  • Improve Employee Engagement & Leverage Global Talent Availability

Despite the fact that these groups provide expertise on emerging markets, global teams face many hurdles that can be difficult to overcome. In order to achieve global operational excellence, leaders must understand the best practices associated with becoming global. In addition, leaders should also consider examining pitfalls other organizations have encountered when implementing their global teams.

From our research, we found that many possible pitfalls are likely to occur from trying to implement Global Teams into Global Organizations without proper knowledge. Some other possible pitfalls leading organizations identified included:

  • Assuming Clear, Frequent Communication – Dual reporting and conflicting agendas can easily happen, leading to inefficiency.
  • Lack of Proper Leadership – Leaders are not engaged or micromanage too much, leading to a lack of commitment.
  • Improper Alignment of Objectives/Incentives – Goals and objectives are inconsistent and lack focus.
  • Lack of Open Mindset – Members attempt to impose global uniformity despite differing conditions for members across time zones.
  • Underestimating Effort – Teams can easily being working too fast or slow, both of which will lead a lack of team commitment and unity.

When managing global teams, organizations must correct misalignment of goals, develop leadership, and plan for a lengthy implementation process to achieve successful globalization in their organizations. Understanding how others have efficiently steered their global teams to success can help executives to overcome the hurdles of working virtually.

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