Leading Diverse and Dispersed Teams

2/12/2015

These days, in every industry and all across the globe, diverse groups of employees are collaborating from dispersed locations. While this is a boon for creativity and follow-the-sun scheduling, diverse and dispersed teams represent complex linguistic and cultural challenges for leaders and team members alike.

It can seem like a daunting task to motivate this type of team. However, there are some key strategies that can help minimize the challenges faced by the leaders of diverse and dispersed teams. Leaders are advised to:

  1. Display the knowledge, skills and behaviors expected of others
  2. Set clear goals and objectives, and make them known to team members
  3. Establish working agreements with team members
  4. Engage in active management
  5. Train team leaders
  6. Encourage innovation
  7. Focus on people, not simply the task to be accomplished

Leaders must take into account both virtual worker trends and possible roadblocks to employee engagement. They also must help employees grow the in-demand skills of the virtual age: digital skills, agile thinking skills, interpersonal and communication skills, and global operating skills.

Leaders can also respond to the demands and challenges of diverse and dispersed teams by harnessing the tools available in the Cultural Navigator to better connect and collaborate with their employees, and focus on building the foundation for high-performing, diverse and dispersed teams.

Lynne Putz