Want to be a great global leader? keep your homegrown team small

Keeping your domestic team lean is crucial if you manage successfully on a global scale.

That is the advice from Duke CE’s Dr Liz Mellon, an expert in global management, who will lead an unmissable free webinar on 17 November on leading remote teams.

Surrounding yourself with compatriots may make you feel more comfortable but it makes global leadership less likely to succeed, Dr Mellon will warn.

“The challenge of working on a global team is exacerbated by distance and different time zones,” she told Dialogue ahead of the 17 November session. “The more members the team has, the more difficult it becomes to manage. And it’s easy to proliferate. If I don’t quite understand the nature of a request – which is highly likely, as it will feel “foreign” – I may ask someone’s advice locally. Next, I invite them to a team meeting, which makes me feel more comfortable because someone like me is supporting me. This leads to muting the phone, passing asides about the content of the call or the “strange” – i.e. unfamiliar – accents or attitudes being expressed.

“I feel more comfortable, but I am distancing myself from my remote colleagues and reducing or removing the opportunity for getting to know and understand them better. Intimacy takes a tumble. Meanwhile, other team members around the world are adopting the same strategy and, before you know it, the team has doubled in size. Convening team meetings becomes harder, because there are twice as many people to align, and accountability becomes fudged. Keep your team lean: between five and nine members is about right.”

Dr Mellon will take questions during the 60-minute session on 17 November at 2pm GMT/9am EST. Get your chance to draw on her extensive experience and expertise – sign up for her exclusive Dialogue webinar in association with Citrix here