Kipp & Zonen Blog

How to create a succesful global team?

[fa icon="calendar"] September 12, 2017 / by Erik Valks

Erik Valks

People are at the core of all companies; they are the heart that circulates oxygen, the brain that decides on the best path to take and the spirit to convince the world of their company’s added value.

Energy is key

As a young IBM employee my first manager turned out to be an excellent team builder, always putting people first. In my career I slowly learned how lucky I was to have this person as an example for my own management positions. On several occasions, I deferred that path, applying methods where controls and systems came first; an approach that generally drained me and my teams of energy. Over time I learned that a manager should aspire to develop a working environment that creates energy for everybody involved.

International team

A new challenge comes up when teams turn international. Members of the team mainly meet remotely and often they are ‘out there’ on their own, away from the headquarters and a department full of colleagues. They need to be self-starting and are expected to achieve results under the belief that a company is global, but acts local.

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But what makes global teams successful? Is it the image of a global company while everyone performs his activities locally? With people at the core of a company this cannot be the winning formula, which is why a strong, shared ambition should be the starting point. A perspective that is understood by all as important to pursue.

A shared ambition

Communication on a global scale is full of traps. Americans tend to be very optimistic while Japanese are generally pretty cautious, many Asians will never say no while the Dutch will say ‘no’ to your face without blinking an eye. Communication itself may therefore be a barrier to success unless the team manages to go back, time and again, to that shared ambition; and starts building each company development on that solid base. 

Global team meeting 

At Kipp & Zonen the global team came together in Delft at the end of June. Three days of lively discussions, fun and developing our shared ambition – to inform humanity on the status of our climate and to drive the efficiency of the energy source of the future, solar energy. Two major objectives that each team member feels fully committed to and serving us all as a solid base to be successful. Breaking down communication barriers and the limitations of remote communication.

My Kipp & Zonen team 

In conclusion of this blog I want to share with my community the members of my team – our colleagues around the world who are energized to work with you on any topic related to our ambition.

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Topics: global, sales, team, international