Culture differences in international teams
Once upon a time there were three teams - an Indian Team, a Chinese Team and a Hungarian Team.....Very interesting observations by Leslie Perlow of Harvard Business School on teams of software engineers in different countries.
The Indian Team
The engineers reached out directly to the other specialists on their team anytime they had problems. The sense of mutual commitment however led to very long hours as everyone felt they had to always be available to their colleagues.
The Chinese Team
All requests for help had to be channelled through the project leader which made them a bottleneck for the whole team. When the leader was not there none of the issues could be progressed directly by the team members.
The Hungarian Team
When a software engineer had a problem they would just go directly to whoever happened to be free at the time.
- The Indian approach leads to team member burnout
- The Chinese approach puts the boss in sole control of progress
- Only the Hungarian approach allows the team members to be in control of their own destiny
To read the details click here
For me the Hungarian approach resonates best with the key principles of bioteaming such as:
- Every member is a leader
- Whole team communications and transparency
- Personal 'win-wins' for all team members not just the leader
- Contingency against 'single leader bottleneck'
Which of the three team is closest to how your organisation's teams operate?
To download a free copy of the full bioteaming manifesto click here.
Bioteams Books Reviews
If you think that there is not much human teams can learn from nature think again! Temple Grandin in her amazing book Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior (p303-307) puts forward the incredible theory that early humans only became today’s successful homo sapiens because they learned to act and think like the wolves they co-habited with.