Monthly Archives: June 2016

Building an Amazing Global Team Demands Amazing Cultures

In today’s global economy, organizations are looking to expand their business by seeking out new markets.  This places pressure on Senior Management to build Teams that are located all over the world, which in turn demands the ability to lead a virtual dispersed workforce.
In my work consulting with organizations to build global workplaces, I have developed a list of best practices that you can apply.
1. Apply standard recruiting guidelines: You should be able to apply  “best practices” globally by creating a profile of your desired employee to best deliver your organization’s vision and mission statements and that shares your organization’s corporate culture ethics and values.
2. Apply team building to embrace cultural and ethnic differences and similarities.
3. Create a world-class culture first by leveraging WHY and WHAT IF as your organizational DNA.   Identify the core values you want your organization to exhibit, then build a team of individuals that embrace those values.
4. Hire the best talent and find a place for them, instead of hiring to fill specific jobs.  When you approach talent acquisition is filling vacancies, you are seeking employees with a finite skills set to deliver on the responsibilities of the job.
This myopic short-term approach leads your organization to end up missing when you approach talent management as merely filling vacancies  are all the other collective skills, background, experience, training, interests, that could be leveraged for competitive advantage but are not being recruited.
5. Earn your (Human Resources) seat at the management table by delivering value on behalf of HR.  Human Resources has a rare and fading opportunity to deliver value to organizations they serve by seeing global organizational recruitment as a opportunity to infuse the organization with a new DIVERSE & GLOBALLY INCLUSIVE workforce.
6. Hire people who exhibit/possess a predefined set of highly desirable employee attributes, namely:

  • Thrive in times of chaos;
  • Are proactive;
  • Can spot trends from seeming disparate events and connect seemingly unrelated data, events, data;
  • Build and maintain strong relationships;
  • Think unconventionally;
  • Work well in teams AND independently; and
  • Hire based on meaningful experience and NOT credentials (CV, grades,) or nepotism.

7. Implement job rotations as part of on-boarding and skills development to build stronger teams and maximize each employee’s exposure to the entire organization.
8. Empower employees using idea generation programs.  Workers closest to the customers and work processes and stakeholders should be able to make decisions independently for quicker responses to threats and to seize on opportunities.
9. STOP preferential hiring, promotions, and treatment (nepotism) once and for all.  When you hire candidates based on pre-existing relationships or favoritism you significantly REDUCE the talent pool by screening out potential TOP candidates.
10. Hire, but…NEVER FIRE.  I LOVE being challenged by organizations and supposed leaders who cannot imagine a workplace in which you hire people for lifetime.  Given that lifetime employment no longer exhibits, simply having this discussion opens up a dialog to what your values are, how valuable you see think your employees are, and how well you treat your people.
11. Treat employees like customers and customers like employees.  Practice trust and transparency.  Embrace ongoing organization-wide training and professional development programs that are tied directly to performance management plans that are meaningful to employees and map to your organization’s short and long-term goals.  Any/all programs must be measurable (think ROI) by directly and quantifiably impacting employee performance.
12. Make ALL goals ‘stretch’ goals.
13. Institute job sharing, hoteling, and other employee empowerment best practices. Flexible work-life balance arrangements have nearly universal appeal to all FIVE segments of the American workforce but esp. so Boomers and GenXers with parents, children, grandchildren and loved ones to care for.
14. Training should embrace critical thinking and creative problem solving. Across cultures and country markets, having employees that can think independently, make sound decisions, and understand the stakes of their decision-making is invaluable.
15. Encourage risk-taking as part of your employee empowerment programs.  Employees fearful of being punished for making wrong decisions will never take the calculated risks your organization needs, to maintain lasting competitive advantage.  Seizing opportunities comes with inherent risk that can and should be effectively managed.
16. Build distance-based virtual training programs by leveraging technologies, tools, and resources.  Technology enhancements continue to offer new professional development and skills enhancement to a globally dispersed workforce.
Here are some great resources, to help you get started:

    1. Seven best collaboration tools
    1. Ultimate list of virtual team technology tools
    1. Working in a virtual team
    1. Avoid cross-cultural faux-pas
    1. The secret of successful remote working
    1. Top six (6) best practices for managing virtual teams

Good luck building a powerfully diverse global team. Let me know if you have any questions or would like to discuss in greater detail.
Here’s to your continued success in 2016.
– Ethan
The Chazin Group, LLC

Millennials Are Coming…LinkedIn Beware on Social Networking

I have noticed an extremely alarming trend developing here on LinkedIn.   There seems to have been a tremendous increase in the amount of postings of unsuitable materials, comments, and/or personal status updates that have NO “business” being placed on LinkedIn and that are threatening people’s online branding and social networking.
These are the kinds of comments that belong exclusively in Facebook, where the sharing of personal information, life updates, social, lifestyle, and political preference editorializing exist and are accepted.  NOT IN LINKEDIN.
As a public service, I want to remind the entire LinkedIn community that LinkedIn is a “business” community.  The company seems to be taking the stance that members should be allowed to “self-police.”
Well, I have been holding my tongue for the past few months but I am really starting to see a pervasive pattern.  It might do some good to recall that more and more Millenials are gravitating to LinkedIn to assist in their online branding.
That’s great. I mean, 90 million Americans and 3 out of every 4 workers are Millenials.  But I suggest before you begin posting, join a few relevant Groups of professionals in your industry or who do what you do (want to do for a living) and monitor how these people engage, interact, and what they post.
For starters, check out this article: 9 Things You Should Never Do on LinkedIn.  Yes, we can all submit alerts to LinkedIn that we believe specific posts are not appropriate (report this update), but doing so does not seem to have any impact on reducing the growing number of personal promotion posts that are finding their way into this community.
So please…think twice before posting opinions, self-promotions, or social, political causes here.  Some of us have worked very hard over the years to build LinkedIn as an invaluable online source for valuable insights, relationships, and knowledge-sharing.
Here’s to your continued success in 2016.
– Ethan