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When Teams Collide: Managing the International Team Successfully

When Teams Collide: Managing the International Team Successfully

2.5 2
by Richard D. Lewis

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International teams are rapidly becoming the central operating mode for global enterprises. 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


International teams are rapidly becoming the central operating mode for global enterprises. 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? How can we strike a balance between core values and the necessary diversity - and is diversity within the team a strength or a hindrance? What is the role of the team leader in all of this? How do you establish team trust? How important is team humor? Who decides the team's ethics? What misunderstandings can arise in a virtual team, lacking face-to-face contact?

In answering these and other questions, Richard D. Lewis draws on 30 years experience mediating with hundreds of international teams in two dozen countries. 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. Applying the cultural concepts in the bestselling When Cultures Collide specifically to team leadership, this is a wide-ranging and compelling account of how to handle what is a difficult and sensitive task.

Editorial Reviews

People Management
"This eloquent, easy-to-read book covers everything you need to consider to create a structure that will allow your international team to succeed.Lewis brings theory to life through a number of engaging case studies, as well as his own personal experience and has achieved a fine balance between theory – often delivered in a light-hearted and easy to remember way – and tactical every day application. Whether your international team is 10 people or 10,000 people, the clear narrative provides valuable insight.This fascinating subject is crucial to the success of global business."
From the Publisher
When Teams Collide should become required reading for anybody managing people in the globalized workplace... Richard Lewisâ??s â??insiderâ??s perspectiveâ? is reflected in well- researched comparative case studies and a remarkable set of 24 profiles of hypothetical individuals from as many coun- tries. Rarely does one come across a business textbook that can just as easily serve as entertaining and rewarding bedtime reading, with its blend of entertaining stories and profound lessons.—Tim Cullen, Programme Director, Oxford Programme on Negotiation, Sai¿d Business School, Oxford

This book is a MUST for every business team leader who plans to start doing business in a new cross-cultural environ- ment... The old saying â??Do in Rome as the Romans doâ? is still very valid when added to Richard Lewisâ??s own cross- cultural experiences over 50 years and in 150 countries. This book will help you to avoid major and costly mistakes as team leader.—Markku Vartiainen OBE, President, Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce

Richard Lewis has written an extraordinarily useful book. A main quality of the book is the many business cases and individual stories and examples illustrating how our cultural lenses impact our understanding of social processes. These cases are conveyed with great insight, warmth and humor.—Atle Jordahl, International Director, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)

Richard Lewis has outdone himself, no small feat. When Teams Collide synthesizes much of his earlier, excellent work while also furthering those efforts by grounding his LMR framework firmly within real life, real people, and real situa- tions... The insights are almost innumerable.—Tim Flood, PhD, Associate Professor, Management and Corporate Communication, University of North Carolina

Because we serve many of the worldâ??s largest multinational companies, we know that the ability to build effective global teams is an important skill of an executive. At Deloitte, we ascribe much value to this skill set, and have made it an important component of Deloitteâ??s Next Generation CFO Academy curriculum, the foundation of which is built upon the three pillars of success â?? Leadership, Influence, and Competence. Knowing how to team and make decisions in an international environment is critical to the development of â??next generationâ?? CFOs. Richard Lewisâ??s book, When Teams Collide, explores these concepts in a very effective and engaging manner, providing meaningful, real-life examples to illustrate the international dimensions of building effec- tive teams. This book is an educational resource for both aspiring and current CFOs.—William J. Ribaudo, Managing Partner and Dean, The Next Generation CFO Academy, Deloitte & Touche LLP

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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 quartely 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 Nestle. He lives near Winchester, and is one of Britain's foremost linguists, speaking 12 languages - and spent 5 years in Japan, where he was tutor to the Imperial Family.

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When Teams Collide: Managing the International Team Successfully 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
CY1 More than 1 year ago
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.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
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.