Today’s business world is rapidly developing, driven by numerous global innovations; therefore, professionals must possess robust management skills that include the ability to identify and understand the cultural differences of multinational teams. A thriving global manager needs to know how to integrate team members of different cultural backgrounds to benefit the entire team and business as a whole. Thus, this course proved to be especially valuable and informative to build a broad understanding of the concept of cross-cultural groups and how to manage them in a global environment. Moreover, the course expanded my knowledge of the management competencies required to become a successful leader within the limits of one country and the whole world.
Understanding of the Importance of Multicultural Teams
Week 11 topic on Cross-Cultural Teams was very informative in comprehending the importance of learning about multinational teams in light of the current globalization of business. As Lamson (2018, para. 2) outlines in her article, the global manager is the one “responsible for managing teams of employees across diverse cultures and times zones.” However, the information provided in week 11 led to the development of the idea that cross-cultural teams are now found in any organization. Moreover, it is clear that even when working on projects at the university, I can now apply the knowledge I gained to enhance the interaction between my teammates and myself. With the help of this class, I realized that being a part of a cross-cultural team has its benefits, but also presents challenges. It was also quite motivating to learn a new perspective on how to look at Western, Eastern, and Latin American and Saudi Cultures in terms of Dignity, Honor, and Face.
The class helped me analyze the significance of cross-cultural differences and apply them to everyday activities. It was conveyed that trust is the most critical characteristic of a high-functioning team – virtual, traditional management lead, or self-managed ones. The explanation of what types of qualities global executives need to possess was quite eye-opening. It stipulated that being a successful global leader means not only understanding the team’s cultural differences but being flexible and tolerant towards ambiguities.
This notion was easy to see during my work on a project with a couple of other teammates from different cultural backgrounds. The Western group members were straightforward when giving feedback on the job done. The group members of the Latin American background were also quite confrontational due to the importance of honor in their culture. Molinsky and Gundling (2016, para. 7) stipulate that, apart from analyzing the team’s cultural and individual differences, it is vital to “set clear norms and stick to them.” It is obvious now that if I have to manage a group of people from various cultural backgrounds, it is essential to establish trust. And team norms are to be developed for the group to have positive and productive dynamics for everyone to follow.
Management Competencies or How to Be an Effective Leader
Week 13 topic on Management Competencies helped me understand what qualities a global leader must possess the be effective. The lecture helped me realize that global managers are not only required to successfully communicate with employees but also with customers, contractors, and suppliers of different cultural backgrounds. Every manager right now is a global manager since almost any business currently is borderless. Companies either have multinational staff, or do business with international partners, or both.
Analysing Bird and Osand’s pyramid of global management skills helped me structure managerial competencies and understand what levels they occupy. In line with the information in the week 13 lecture, Clawson (2019, para. 3) asserts that a successful global leader must possess, among others such personality traits as sensitivity to cultural diversity, curiosity, openness to experience, global strategic thinking, interpersonal skills, and system skills. It is now easier to understand that all these competencies are interconnected and serve as a basis for one another by analyzing the visual material.
On a personal level, this course helped me identify the areas in my character that I need to develop more. Before attending the class, I lacked an understanding of the importance of cultural flexibility on the global level. It is clear that to succeed as an international manager, a global mindset is crucial. The course promoted my interest in the lives and cultures of other people while keeping in mind that personal culture is not superior.
The course was helpful, informative, and motivating in different ways. As a future global executive, it is vital to be prepared to do business worldwide and manage people effectively. The course helped create a clear outline of what competencies and personal traits an international manager must possess, as well as what strategies to use when working in a cross-cultural team. By learning this information, I can identify my strengths and weaknesses as a future global manager and work on their development. Besides, it also helped me to implement my knowledge in a sophisticated manner.
Clawson, J. (2019) ‘11 key characteristics of a global business leader’, Ideas to action.
Lamson, M. (2018) ‘New global managers: tools and tips you’ll need to be successful,’ Inc.
Molinsky, A., & Gundling, E. (2016) ‘How to build trust on your cross-cultural team,’ Harvard Business Review.