What distinguishes a successful company from a less successful one? Of course, it requires market-driven products or services at appropriate prices. But beyond that, it is also about leadership, organisation and motivation of the team as well as the right communication with this team.

It takes a good leader, the captain, and the right culture. The leader, together with a small leadership team, creates incentives and a motivating atmosphere for open discussion processes in which everyone's resources are brought to bear. The supervisor shows with his behaviour that he serves the big goal of the whole company and keeps an overview at all times. He defuses power struggles and reduces politics in the company. He also provides a clear distribution of roles and decides when strategy changes, also called paradigm shifts, are necessary. Everyone agrees to break down the overall strategy into several sub-strategies.

This scenario is more complex in multinational teams because there are cultural sensitivities and these pose an additional challenge. For example, many Asians are often less direct in formulating and demanding goals and, at first glance, often act less proactively than their German-speaking colleagues, for example. This can lead to misunderstandings due to false expectations. It is better to cultivate a respectful way of dealing with each other that takes intercultural differences into account and that definitely uses conflicts to achieve goals effectively. 

"Difference is an asset" is the motto: this method ultimately makes a decisive contribution to the success of sub-strategies and the achievement of the big goal.

Team spirit - easier said than done:

Team building is not a simple instrument. A major risk lies in the different rules of the game and motivations. These must be uncovered in detail and subordinated to the overall goal. It is important that the results are not attributed to individuals but to the team. Existing conflicts and their resolution are understood as necessary, respectful and at the same time goal-oriented communication on the way to success. Informal and direct, but at all times comprehensible dialogues are helpful here. Added to this is the appreciation of different characters, such as lateral thinkers, specialists and generalists.

But how can such a team spirit actually be achieved? 

Maybe the following hints will help: 

  • Structure: There needs to be a suitable and constant connection of all international staff to the headquarters, coupled with good education and appropriate training.
  • Leadership: This should be adapted to the situation, have "leadership as a role model" as its guiding principle and also explain itself on the basis of reciprocity: For example, the dialogue would begin as follows: "Please put yourself in my position. How would you act in my place to achieve our goals?"
  • Training: In addition, all employees should be involved in international projects and participate in as many best practice processes as possible.
  • Authenticity: A good example of high identification potential are concrete examples of employees who have been promoted and challenged at the same time and who have made comprehensible careers within the company at home and abroad. Such examples create a high level of identity and also the incentive to do the same as the promoted colleagues.
  • Career opportunities: Concrete perspectives for the individual's career are important, but are not designed for the short term, but rather for the medium and long term.

Especially today, in the age of global, fast and sometimes redundant communication, these aspects play a special role. Motivation and leadership make the difference! Especially with regard to matrix and project structures, which are becoming more and more common, the specific motivation of the individual and the right leadership of the team are essential keys to success, thus achieving a "we-feeling" in a sustainable way.


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