Plus3 Global Projects

Blog Post 3

MAY 24th, 2021

Dayanna Gordon
Student

Working on this project has meant a great challenge in my professional and personal life, meeting new people from different cultures has been a great learning experience in every way.

 

  1. What is challenging about working cross-culturally in a virtual setting? What are the positives?

 

Definitely something challenging has been the time difference of the countries of each of the team members. In addition, since it is a virtual teamwork, sometimes not all of us can meet at the same time in the zoom meetings that we do outside of class hours, because we all have other responsibilities: classes, job duties or any activity outside the project we are currently working on. This is completely understandable since we all have many different things in our lives at the same time, the important thing is to be understanding among the team members and keep those who cannot attend the meetings updated.

 

As I have mentioned previously in other blogs, communication is the most important thing when working in a team and I consider that when it is a virtual job it is much more important. In my team we are all respectful and careful with the words and expressions we use, so fortunately we have not had problems with this. In my case, as English is not my first language, I must admit that many times I speak little because I am ashamed to be wrong in my pronunciation or words that I do not know. However, it is something that I am working on and I think that every time I am expressing myself a little more.

 

Something very positive about virtual teamwork is that we have a group on WhatsApp and there we are constantly in communication, sending photos, messages about the project. So, we can be more in touch and faster via chat.

 

On the other hand, defining roles and responsibilities has been very important. Clearly, we all collaborate and lead, but I consider that it is of great importance to establish a structure in the team like if it was a company, in order to develop a well-organized project.

 

First, because the structure provides members with clear guidelines on how to proceed. At some point there will be uncertainty, as will disagreements. Both, in repeated doses, are unpleasant and block the achievements. Also, when there is a lot of uncertainty or disagreement, that’s when people tend to imagine how nice it would be to be somewhere else and they become disinterested or, outright, abandon work. A structure clearly established gives the group a means of reducing uncertainty, resolving disagreements and keep working.

 

Second, the structure unites the members, giving them meaning and identity both to the people who join as well as to the team itself. Satisfies the basic needs of the human being of form, regularity and order. These are not less important in the life of a company as in our personal life.

 

And third, because a certain type of structure in any organization is inevitable. An organization/team, by definition, implies a structure. The team will have a certain structure that was decided. Therefore, it must be the structure that best combines with the organization/team, with the type of people who are involved and what they make.

 

2. How are you actively building trust with your teammates and your client when some may not be from your home culture?

 

All the members of my team are from countries other than mine, I feel that trust is something that is built over time. The first weeks we were a bit shy and talked only about academic things. I feel that now, as we have interacted much more, we have met on several occasions, we have gained more confidence and we have had the opportunity to get to know each other much more. We talk about things other than the project, something that is also very important.

 

With the client, fortunately in the team we have a colleague who is from Brazil and he helps us a lot with the translations, doubts we have about the culture or the health system of his country. So, what we do is try to take advantage of all the information they give us in the classes about the client and the encounters we have with them. Where we are attentive to the feedback that teachers, mentors and the client give us. Whenever we finish a class where they have given us feedback, what we do is meet apart and discuss the aspects that we must improve, change or what things we must add so that the project is the best and most successful possible.

 

3. As an individual on a team, how are you prioritizing and expressing your recommendations during the upcoming “Advocacy” phase of case consultation?

 

Already having information about the client and the environment in which it is located, each member of the team has given their point of view on the solutions and recommendations that apply to the case under study. In my personal case, I express my recommendations to my colleagues in the zoom meetings that we have outside of normal classes. With the proposal that we must propose general and specific solutions. Within it, I highlight the one that talks about the importance of the values ​​of the company and the organizational culture.

At present, companies are the expression of a cultural reality, which are called to live in a world of permanent change, both socially and economically and technologically; or on the contrary, like any organism, enclose itself within the framework of its formal limits. In both cases, this cultural reality reflects a framework of values, beliefs, ideas, idiosyncrasies, feelings and wills of an institutional community. This leads us to understand that certainly, the organizational culture serves as a frame of reference for the members of the organization and offers guidelines about how people should conduct themselves in it. On many occasions the culture is so evident that you can see that people’s behavior changes the moment they walk through the doors of the organization.

Talking about organizational culture is talking about good companies, because Organizational Culture is nothing more than a very useful tool that employers usually use to guide their workers towards the fulfillment of business goals, this is achieved through the promotion of a set of procedures, guides, guidelines that will serve as a map that will have the success of organizations as the final destination.

 

Some of the main reasons that lead to consider organizational culture as a fundamental pillar for companies are:

  • incorporates a general behavior pattern, through the transmission of common beliefs and values ​​to its members of a company
  • contributes to raising internal cohesion and deepening the sense of belonging
  • It is an essential factor for the economic, technological and productive performance of an organization
  • Both values ​​and beliefs, generally contained in the management philosophy, guide workers and give them identity, integrate or divide them, as members of an organization
  • Organizational culture constitutes a strategic element to achieve a business excellence model

 

To conclude, in a hyper-competitive world like ours, it is convenient for companies to dedicate to meeting the needs of the applicants, identify what elements constitute as competition factors and what elements they can use and accentuate to overcome the challenges they face in the development of their activities. It is valid to affirm that any type of alteration in the work environment will be a deviation towards corporate success.

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