Catching the PR buzz is an important aspect of building an enduring online enterprise. But, being the talk of the town won't ever pay a single bill. The real work of running a business involves sales, collections and execution.
It's reasonable to think that press attention (or celebrity) is worth exactly what it generates in sales and no more. One school (dominated by SEO experts and journalists) holds that press attention can be the engine of economic growth. The opposing view (often held by engineers and mad inventors you have never heard of) is that attention is a distraction, that real wor will win the market.
NOTE: Please send news and events to carrie.baggs at gmail.com for publication in the Bugler.
Reveille and Hyperbole:
The Development staff at BrightMove has announced the release of the latest version of their Applicant Tracking System, BrightMove ATS. Version 2.5 of the ATS product officially went live on May 1, 2007
Fail to Prepare: Prepare to Fail. Failure to adequately prepare is the #1 reason for a bad job interview experience, according to recent survey carried out by financial recruitment website totallyfinancial.com. Jobseekers still putting the dream of their perfect financial job at risk through inadequate preparation for interviews
An online system that can handle recruitment advertising response and screening for any organisation worldwide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week has recently been launched at JobResponder .The Jobresponder system has been designed to fully automate the job advertising response and screening function.
eContinuum is a secret weapon leveraged by many of the world's smartest companies. The company's product – Overture, a SaaS solution – enables organizations to quickly identify, assess, and hire top-performing sales representatives.
Avoka Technologies announced that, following strong growth of its Enterprise workflow and process management solutions, its subsidiary, Avoka USA Inc., has officially launched its U.S. operations with the opening of its first office in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Deck Chairs: PeopleFilter® Technology, developers of the PeopleFilter applicant tracking system (ATS), announced that Richard Post has joined the company as Practice Lead, Hospitality.
Deep Release: Multiculturalism At Work: Great Tips to Take Note When Working with Global Team Members
Managing Global Teams can be both challenging and frustrating at times. In this article, Nicholas shares a few tips to manage and motivate global team members.
Nicholas Goh, Executive Director of Verztec Consulting Pte Ltd, a leading Multilingual Communications Service Provider, is pleased to provide the following tips, which help businesses better manage multicultural teams.
The modern workplace is a borderless one. Globalisation has opened up vistas of potential partnerships and collaborations around the world. Supply chains span entire continents and project management teams comprise members of diverse nationalities and backgrounds. Managers then find themselves with a tough mandate as they are plunged into a merry cacophony of culturally-informed behavioural patterns, ranging from communication styles to decision-making processes.
Indeed, multicultural teams often pose frustrating managerial dilemmas. Cultural differences present marked hurdles to effective teamwork--but these are often subtle and difficult to recognise until significant damage has been done. These ostensibly mundane working problems among team members will prevent them from realising the very gains they were set up to harvest, such as familiarity with different product markets and culturally sensitive customer service.
The challenge in managing multicultural teams effectively is to recognise underlying cultural causes of conflict and to intervene in ways that set strategic objectives for the team and empower its members to deal with future challenges that might arise.
1. Differing Modes of Communication
The most prominent challenge that can arise from multicultural teams is ambiguity and murkiness in communications. Different cultures have differing styles of communication. In general, westernised cultures favour direct and explicit means of communication. Crucial information about the other party's preferences and priorities can be gleamed via asking direct questions. Other cultures may not be as vocal and forward in expressing their opinions. These cultures favour an indirect means of communication where meaning is embedded in the way the message is presented. Negotiators will then have to infer preferences and priorities from changes--or the lack of changes--in the other party's business proposal.
Such uncertainty is detrimental to the health of any business. When team projects run into trouble, a member's unwitting approach to the problem may violate the other's norms for uncovering and fixing glitches in the programme. This can cause serious damage to relationships, resulting in isolation and alienation of key team members, restricted information access and the generation of interpersonal conflicts.
2. Linguistic Proficiency
The most obvious and practical means would be to implement a highly selective evaluation process. Personally, as a purveyor of Multilingual Communications services, it is thus fitting and appropriate that the criterion for selection be proficiency in the language. Suppliers and partners need to be impeccable in their command of the language, since this serves as a direct gauge to the standards of translations they are able to provide. Even for firms not in the Language industry, other than the profiles, past projects and achievements, linguistic competence should be considered when settling on a partnering organisation or a supplier. Having this criterion will help reduce misunderstandings that result from incomprehension and misinterpretation.
3. Open Communications
One way to prevent such complications from arising is by fostering open communications. Project Managers need to value and be receptive to the output of individual members. Team members also need to be amendable to one another's perspectives and viewpoints so that members do not have misgivings about vocalising their opinions. Misinterpretations can then be nipped in the bud and addressed, before they develop into full-fledged disasters.
4. Active Feedback Loops
To rein in divergent segments of the business cycle, project managers need to consolidate and centralise core processes while receiving rigorous feedback from the periphery. Follow-up supervisory feedback from managers overseeing global outsourced teams is instrumental in evaluating and determining the efficiency and rapport of team members. Members can then be provided with clear guidelines to be assessed on their abilities to act upon initiatives and deliver relevant and profitable solutions. Such collaborative experiences will allow managers and team members alike to be familiarised with cultural issues while adhering to neutral and objective operational procedures.
5. Acknowledgement and Adaptation
For a team to be effective, team members must acknowledge cultural gaps openly and work around them. One of the projects handled by my company involved the translation and typesetting of marketing corollaries into Arabic, a language widely known and studied in the Muslim regions of the Middle East. The contents of the materials had been designed for a beach resort; several photographs depicted women clad in bikinis. Several of the team members in the Middle East were unwilling to be involved in the project because it went against the conservative tenets of their religion. The opposition was especially apparent in the typesetting process where the translated text had to be integrated with the photographs.
Under such circumstances, Project Managers have to act promptly and appropriately, conducting research and evaluation sessions so that cultural concerns could be identified and acknowledged. Team members participated in solving the problems, learning from one another in the process. With the correct mind-set, members can be creative about protecting their own substantial differences while acceding to the processes of others. A satisfactory compromise was then reached--deferring to the religious beliefs of our Muslim partners, project managers outsourced typesetting operations to China and negotiated with the original Arabic translators to review/approve the end-product before final delivery to the client.
With the advent of globalisation, businesses can adroitly capitalise on worldwide opportunities to reduce costs and enhance productivity. Nevertheless, they need to possess the sensitivity and expertise to weather the potential complications that might arise from such collaborations.
Nicholas Goh is the Executive Director of Verztec Consulting Pte Ltd, a Multilingual Communications Service Provider. For more information on Verztec's services, please visit their site at http://www.verztec.com.