When Teams Collide: Managing the International Team Successfullyby Richard D. Lewis
For global enterprises, international teams are becoming more and more common. They are often agile and perceptive, know local markets better than HQ does, lead innovation and exploratory ventures, and are more culturally aware than their parent company. But how much autonomy should they be allowed? How can we get things done with colleagues who have different
For global enterprises, international teams are becoming more and more common. They are often agile and perceptive, know local markets better than HQ does, lead innovation and exploratory ventures, and are more culturally aware than their parent company. But how much autonomy should they be allowed? How can we get things done with colleagues who have different worldviews? When Teams Collide answers these questions and more. From figuring out how to work through cultural differences to deciding on a team leader, Richard Lewis uses his 30 years of experience in team mediation to provide suggestions for success. Generously illustrated with explanatory diagrams, When Teams Collide analyses profiles of 24 different nationalities and suggests how they should be led for best results. Commenting on vital considerations of leadership, team trust, ethics and humor, the author also evaluates the relationship between teams and HQ When Cultures Collide is a wide-ranging, compelling account of how to handle what is a difficult and sensitive task.
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Meet the Author
Richard Lewis is the Chairman of Richard Lewis Communications, an international institute of cross-cultural and language training with offices in over 30 countries. He founded the quarterly magazine Cross Culture in 1989 and is heavily involved in the intercultural field, lecturing in countries from Finland to Hong Kong and working with companies as diverse as Fiat, IBM, Nokia, Andersen Consulting and Nestlé. He lives near Winchester, and is one of Britain s foremost linguists, speaking 12 languages including Japanese from when he tutored the Imperial Family. His books include When Cultures Collide, and Finland, Cultural Lone Wolf. Lewis was knighted by President Ahtisaari of Finland in 1997.
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While Richard D. Lewis provides some good advice about dealing with other cultures, one must read this book with caution. He crosses the line and provides some appalling information as serious, to be heeded advice. Especially regarding what he calls "politically correct" preferred expressions, as well as some ill-chosen examples on p. 225. If anyone used some of these "politically correct" phrases in the U.S., s/he will be looked upon very negatively or as very offensive. This leads me to be suspect about the rest of his advice.
Communications consultant Richard D. Lewis builds on his international experience to address a big stumbling block for global companies: the inability of people on multinational teams to cooperate. Members’ conscious or unconscious cultural assumptions lead to the danger of unintentionally offending (or being offended by) other members. Lewis warns of the hazards of stereotyping various nationalities, and then he takes that risk often, though he bases his descriptions of cultural inclinations on extended research into cooperation on multinational teams. He says understanding leaders can overcome team members’ widely differing organizational, linguistic and ethical perspectives. Your reaction will depend on whether you see his descriptions as illuminating or stereotyping. Lewis does provide practical steps for resolving cultural conflicts in 11 pivotal areas. Each chapter ends with case studies and includes well-intended but hard-to-interpret graphics. Fortunately, getAbstract finds the written text stands on its own.