There are different stages in working with different cultures at the same time, and every one of those stages has certain points for consideration. First stage: prior research. In that stage the manager has to organize his thoughts and knowledge for the cultures he is going to be involved with. Knowing another culture’s dos and don’t, as well as their traditions, can lead to better communication results and quicker problem solving. Of course planning beforehand for different time zones is often quite difficult and time consuming but having a plan in mind helps put things in order easily.
As it is not uncommon to not know with which countries you are supposed to work in the future, or to not have enough time for a proper research, this stage is often skipped. Second stage: the process With a proper plan in mind and enough knowledge of his peers’ culture the manager can now focus on the process of leadership. Apart from the traits that a proper leader should have (charisma, accountability, the ability to inspire respect and motivate, and so on) there are certain traits that hold a special position because of the international nature of the situation.
Those traits are flexibility, the ability to stay organized, the ability to stay focused and to be familiar with technology. The constant communication with every peer is necessary. The easier way to do that is through communication technology. IT systems could also be useful for finding potential threats and keeping track of everything that is important within the various companies around the world. One thing is certain, the wider the network that a manager is leading, the more flexible he has to be on the time he spends handling his business.
Third stage: evaluation and constant improvement After time passes and things get in line the manager should seek ways to improve and simplify the process. Constant feedback is necessary from and towards the other companies of the organization. Transparency should characterize every decision that is taken from the manager and his peers and teamwork is more important than ever since different cultures and distance can lead to big misunderstandings. New technological improvements that present new opportunities for the company are always welcome as well.