Going Global #3: Build A Global Network

mpj042770400001.jpgIt’s a global initiative just waiting to happen. You’ve got the plan and you’re ready to go. But where’s the team? How are you going to recruit, dazzle, and motivate your international team members? All of a sudden, you may find yourself spinning circles around the globe. Don’t get lost in foreign territory. Get your world map out of the closet and locate your global network.

Whether you’re introducing a new vision, implementing an internal process, or launching a new product, a successful outcome is always dependent on team alignment. Building your network of team members across functions and regions takes careful planning and relationship building. So where do you start? Create a networking strategy! Bring out the organization chart and identify your key drivers and influencers for the following: 1) Strategy Team (Executive sponsors), 2) Core Team (Functional and Country members), and 3) Project/Launch Management Team.

Then you’re ready to assess your networking space. Do you have the appropriate foundation to build a network across the organization?  Is everyone aligned with your new mission or vision?  Is your core team onboard and committed to the project? Is the project management team aligned with influential groups within the organization? And finally, are the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions aligned? If you answered no to any of these questions, you will need to apply your networking strategy.

While it’s important to get global input, you also need to assemble a diverse, global team that can cover all aspects of launch and key touch points. Expand your international knowledge base through a capable team with international experience and understanding of international requirements.

The key challenge for meeting worldwide launch goals is increasingly shaped by external market demand for timely delivery, localized product, customer focus, and sales readiness. The success or failure in meeting global sales goals is dependent upon internal capabilities to execute on local market needs. In the Global Minds Network Global Launch Report, several participants acknowledged the persistent challenge of moving from a US centric mindset to a global mindset in order to capture mindshare across the organization and around the world.

The Global Launch Report further showed that effective launch management and coordination was often hampered by the lack of consistent processes and failure to support regional needs. When evaluating organizational capabilities in achieving global marketing and sales goals, participants provided the lowest ratings for team collaboration and communication, global training programs, localized sales support tools, and international experience of US teams. Corporate culture and organizational communication played key roles in achieving alignment, accountability, and actionable results across functions and cultures.

The art of networking is based on the ability to build and nurture relationships based on trust, respect, and consideration around the globe. Keep in mind that you need to add value for international team members. Share your thoughts on the new project and welcome advice and feedback from country participants. Engage team members by recognizing their local implementation issues and welcoming their ideas at project meetings. Simple advice for aligning your global teams and ensuring project success!

The next piece of advice requires a healthy dose of communication to keep the network alive and buzzing on the worldwide tour. Language lessons to follow in the next blog session:

What’s your global readiness challenge? Respond to this blog or contact karina@globalmindsnetwork.com or visit www.globalmindsnetwork.com

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