MegaGlobe- Diversity and Team Leadership Approaches
Our first article for MegaGlobe, concerns diversity and building effective teams through leadership approaches. As the company has expanded into new cultures and new countries it is important that we recognized many elements of effective teams and how these elements promote collaboration between organizational members towards a common goal. The first of many of these elements is communication since it provides the basis for sharing ideas and properly understanding goals and objectives (Engleberg & Wynn, 2012). Communication is vital because it provides the foundation for effective team decision making. Successful teams will utilize an effective decision making process that takes into thought the various viewpoints and ideas from all team members (Engleberg & Wynn, 2012). This effective decision making process is founded in the idea of creating diverse teams.
Successful teams leverage diversity by using different skills and thinking to create solutions and creative thinking. Diversity has been show to create more effective teams than heterogeneous teams (Engleberg & Wynn, 2012). This makes sense because different perspective provides more opportunities to create solutions from different ways of perceiving problems and circumstances. This diversity needs to be leveraged through quality leadership. Good leaders need to be able to inspire teams with a purpose and motivation for task completion. As such, quality leadership is intrinsically tied with the team process (Engleberg & Wynn, 2012).
Diversity is a state that requires a balancing of stakeholder needs and diversity between the group members and the organization. This can be seen in the manner that teams of are led with a mission or purpose (Engleberg & Wynn, 2012). This is best accomplished through the inclusion of members and creating system where individual members can input their ideas (Engleberg & Wynn, 2012). As such managers will need to create strategies for inclusion of members.
One major strategy for leveraging diversity is to create heterogeneous teams. The heterogeneous groups are more effective than homogenized groups because the individual members offer different creative perspectives (Engleberg & Wynn, 2012). This can be done in the case of our company by constructing teams based on origins and on skills e.g. groups from different companies. Utilizing different cultures naturally breeds diverse thinking (Engleberg & Wynn, 2012). Diversity differences can stem from different aspects of personality and culture which means that teams must have communications and decision making processes that are clearly defined.
Outlining Positive Aspects of Gender, Diversity, and Culture
There are many positive aspects to the culture of MegaGlobe which can best be understood through analysis of the cultural distinctions:
- Power Distance- This is the measure or difference in power in relationships between subordinates and supervisors. This is an important aspect of diversity because it will define who members of a team accept or tolerate authority (Hofstede Center, 2016).
- Individualism versus Collectivism- This is the measure of how one identifies themselves in relation to other individuals such as being an individuals or part of a group. This is an important measure of diversity because it shows how a person is likely to see themselves in relation to the group (Hofstede Center, 2016).
- Masculinity versus Femininity- This the diversity component that measures the degree to which a person or culture reflects masculine vs feminine traits (Hofstede Center, 2016).
- Uncertainty Avoidance Index- This component of diversity is the measure of how the members of a culture are comfortable with uncertainty or ambiguity. This is a measure flexibility for change (Hofstede Center, 2016).
- Long Term Orientation versus Short Term Normative Orientation- This component is a measure of value that a culture places on tradition and its willingness to change in the long and short term (Hofstede Center, 2016).
- Indulgence versus Restraint- This component of culture is the measure of a society’s willingness to self-indulge (Hofstede Center, 2016).
Once a team is understood in terms of its various cultural characteristics, we can begin to understand its benefits and weaknesses in terms of thinking. As such, we should build our teams using analysis of culture and how to best leverage differences within groups. If we follow this model we can be assured of creating effective and successful teams.
Engleberg, I. Wynn, D. (2012) Working in Groups: Communication Principles and Strategies 6 Edition Pearson
Hofstede Center. (2016). Dimensions of national culture