International teams are rapidly becoming the central operating mode for global enterprises. They are often agile and perceptive, know local markets better than HQ does, lead innovation and exploratory ventures, and are more culturally aware than their parent company.
But how much autonomy should they be allowed? How can we get things done with colleagues who have different worldviews? How can we strike a balance between core values and the necessary diversity – and is diversity within the team a strength or a hindrance? What is the role of the team leader in all of this? How do you establish team trust? How important is team humor? Who decides the team s ethics? What misunderstandings can arise in a virtual team, lacking face-to-face contact?
In answering these and other questions, Richard D. Lewis draws on 30 years experience mediating with hundreds of international teams in two dozen countries. Generously illustrated with explanatory diagrams, When Teams Collide analyses profiles of 24 different nationalities and suggests how they should be led for best results. Commenting on vital considerations of leadership, team trust, ethics and humor, the author also evaluates the relationship between teams and HQ.
Applying the cultural concepts in the bestselling When Cultures Collide specifically to team leadership, this is a wide-ranging and compelling account of how to handle what is a difficult and sensitive task.
Richard Lewis has outdone himself, no small feat. When Teams Collide synthesizes much of his earlier, excellent, work while also furthering those efforts by grounding his LMR framework firmly within real life, real people, and real situations. The case-based approach which Lewis uses in When Teams Collide allows those who are coming to the Lewis model for the first time to see his ideas in action and to understand those ideas with great ease and high impact… When Teams Collide belongs on your desk, bookshelf or ebook reader but don’t put it there until you ve taken the time to appreciate the new and exciting information within the text. The insights are almost innumerable.
Tim Flood, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Management and Corporate Communication, The University of North Carolina, U.S.A.
Building a well functioning management team is the single most important task for a newly appointed Manager / Leader. In particular, this is true for an international operation with team members from different nationalities and cultures. For managers who encounter these challenges, Richard Lewis has written an extraordinarily useful book. A main quality of the book is the many business cases and individual stories and examples illustrating how our cultural lenses impact our understanding of social processes. These cases are conveyed with great insight, warmth and humor. Through the Lewis Model of Culture, the reader is able to make sense of the variation and the many specific recommendations and guidelines for coping gives the reader tools and inspiration to take on the challenge.
Atle Jordahl, International Director, The Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
Richard Lewis demonstrates again his pre-eminence in understanding and sharing his knowledge of how different cultures interact in the workplace. Turning his focus to teams, this latest work, building on his seminal When Cultures Collide is peppered with entertaining anecdotes and illuminating case studies, with an underlying and reassuring intellectual rigour.
When Teams Collide should become required reading for anybody managing people in the globalized workplace. Richard Lewis’s lessons for leaders in this new book draws on a lifetime of advising companies all over the world. His insider s perspective is reflected in well-researched comparative case studies and a remarkable set of 24 profiles of hypothetical individuals from as many countries.
Rarely does one come across a business textbook that can just as easily serve as entertaining and rewarding bedtime reading, with its blend of entertaining stories and profound lessons. One of the world’s leading linguists, Richard Lewis takes the reader from the idiosyncrasies and pitfalls of language through communication style, humour, decision-making and ethics, all seen through the different cultural lenses of many national groups and what he describes as cultural anchorages . The lessons for leaders and members of teams are profound.
Tim Cullen, Programme Director, The Oxford Programme on Negotiation, Saïd Business School, Oxford, U.K.
Author: Richard D. Lewis
Length: 306 pages
Weight: 504 grams
Publisher: Nicholas Brealey International