Cross-cultural virtual teams

Leadership in cross-cultural virtual teams

Start situation:

Networking and virtual collaboration is being extended and intensified in an internationally operating company. Ecpecially, the sales and marketing departments are effected by this change. The respective infrastructure in the intranet with a virtual classroom included is available. There are already a lot of experience in using this virtual environment through special qualifications worldwide.

Objectives:

The participants such as sales reps and marketing specialists, people responsible for qualification measures and technicians come from different countries and regions worldwide. They are all trained to become moderators in cross-cultural teams during an online course. Besides, these trained moderators will be able to develop national virtual projects of their own on the basis of the existing virtual infrastructure (e.g. introduction of a new product to the market, online training for field service technicians).

Implementation:

In virtual teams up to 6 speaking only English and being cross-cultural the training is carried out. A trainer and coach attends to the participants during the course. During the whole training period each participants works on an own project topic for transferring the results to the individual working environment later on. There are virtual meetings weekly that are moderated by the team members themselves successively. Time zones are a crucial influencing factor for the virtual communication in the teams. Moreover, there are a number of asynchronuous possibilities of collaboration attended to by the trainer.

Result:

This training means a tremendous increase in personal know how and competencies of each participant. „Two in One“, as this training was also called by the team members resulted in the successful qualification as an international team moderator. At the same time people were trained in international project work on the basis of virtual media. The effecient exchange of knowledge has been initiated throughout the company because the teams collaborated beyond this online training and have formed communities of experts, too.