Research* has shown that diverse teams often perform far worse than homogeneous teams. However the best-performing teams of all are also diverse. They tend to be good at mapping who they are, bridging the gaps and integrating different approaches.
CultureActive has created a new 360 tool for improving multicultural team dynamics, increasing engagement and boosting results. As well as team members completing their self-assessments, each member also completes a mini-assessment on each of their colleagues. A facilitated session afterwards looks at the gaps between how people saw themselves and how they were perceived by the rest of the team (as a group, not individually.)
The team should generally be maximum 12 people, they should know each other well, and they should be prepared to discuss their profiles openly together.
It’s important to point out that no one profile is better or worse than another – just different. And to understand that we are dealing with perceptions, not absolute truths. But perceptions can affect attitudes and the team dynamic. The gaps between self-perception and how others saw you is simply a starting-point for analysis, and a way of deepening discussion.
Although designed with multicultural teams in mind, the programme works equally well with monocultural teams, as we all have different ways of communicating, behaving and have some divergent values, no matter what our nationality.
Sessions are facilitated with humour and tact, and nobody has to disclose more about themselves than they are comfortable with.
The session ends with clear action points both for the team as whole and for individual members.
It is usually best to have a general introductory session on culture and the team prior to doing the 360.
Here is some recent feedback from the leader of a team of senior managers who went through the programme:
“Thinking about the team, as far as October to December 2016 period is concerned, I must say that the training has truly been a game changer, even if there are still some room for improvement, the behaviour dramatically changed, the team members were much more collaborative, delivering a much better team work creating much more fun for everyone! in other words, I felt that a group of very good people became a real team with all the benefits associated mainly engagement – engagement significantly went up, we had our yearly survey and the team engagement is much higher than last year, much higher than the company average and much higher that the retail industry average! Needless to add that the team is on the way to deliver a record fiscal year (financial numbers) against the record of previous year.”
If you would like to improve your team performance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
*Creating value with diverse teams in global management, J.J. DiStefano; M.L.Maznevski, Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 29, No 1