The client had restructured one of the three divisions of its global organization and moved from a country-based approach to a globalized reporting structure. This meant that senior leaders who had previously been responsible solely for one country now found themselves having to manage teams across the barriers of culture, geography and time zones — on a truly global scale.
It quickly became apparent that even the senior leaders struggled with this transition and that they were finding it difficult to understand the actions and motivations of colleagues in remote locations and that this, in turn, was leading to series of significant disruptions to the business:
- Decisions were not made on time
- Project overruns (both time and cost) became more common
- Signs of disengagement started to come through in company engagement surveys
The senior leadership team of the client realised that something needed to be done to stop the decline.
Global Business Culture was approached to work on this challenge by the divisional leader and it was decided to roll out the following solution:
- A workshop to flush out the issues was organized and attended by the complete senior leadership team of the division
- Global Business Culture then worked on a one to one mentoring basis with the eight senior leaders over a two-month period
- Further training programs were run for the direct reports of the eight senior leaders
- The Global Business Compass platform was introduced to help cascade further cultural awareness knowledge and fluency across the wider global population
The Business Outcomes
It was generally acknowledged that the training initiative helped push the challenges of effectively working across borders further up the corporate agenda within the division and that a renewed focus was placed on finding workable solutions to the challenges presented by culturally differing mindsets and working practices.