High-Performing Multi-Cultural Teams

The rapid rise in the adoption of cloud technology across the world is leading to a major shortage of IT professionals with the right mix of skills for leading and working in remote, multi-cultural teams. A global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, our client is headquartered in Palo Alto, California and they have offices in locations around the world.

Alternative Description
Alternative Description

The Challenge:  The EMEA People Development team recognised that their multi-cultural teams were certainly creative but often faced a unique set of challenges when setting norms for how they would solve problems, deal with conflict, and spend their time and resources.

They especially recognised that some teams struggled with different expectations for respecting hierarchy, had different interpretations about the level of commitment and/or agreement reached in a decision or how to communicate most effectively via email, IM and video-conferencing.

Babel was asked to provide practical workshops and concrete solutions to assist with these abstract problems and to ensure their teams performed optimally.

Our Solution:  Our practical workshops have been designed to identify the keys to understanding each other’s different cultural values, preferred approaches in business and how these impact on one another; how to engender collaborative working; actions that build trust in their team; and communicating effectively using ‘global’ English.

At the end of each workshop, teams are challenged to produce their own Team Charter and agree on guidelines for how they will conduct their business. The Team Charter reflects the “best practices” that exist in the team. It also clarifies actions and roles and lessens confusion and mixed expectations, all of which are sources of conflict.

Each workshop is tailored, taking into account the mix of different cultural groups in the team.

The Result:

Since 2010, workshops have been rolled out in the UK as well as international offices such as Cork, Munich, Sofia, Moscow, Rome, Dubai, Paris and Milan. Course durations include classic one- and two-day programmes and can be followed up with 1:1 coaching using web-based profiling questionnaires and feedback.

Through our ongoing evaluation, the overwhelming majority of participants agree that they are more confident in:

• understanding what motivates their international colleagues and managing these differences
• how best to work together particularly if they rarely meet on a face-to-face basis
• how to overcome communication problems and try to avoid misunderstandings
• how to phrase their language for requests and providing feedback

“Good in keeping us focussed and delivering the message through an interactive approach. I enjoyed this very much and didn’t expect to learn so much. It was an excellent course and an eye opener into other cultures.”


"We really enjoyed the workshop. To be honest I was a little bit sceptical beforehand but any thoughts like that were very quickly banished, and certain subjects were discussed that I hadn’t even thought about. We both got a lot out of the day and would highly recommend to everyone."

International Assignee: Living & Working in France

EDF Energy

“This course was very helpful for my role and for my daily life.”

Writing Skills for Business

AIMIA - Portugal

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Online Learning During the Corona Virus Outbreak

During the Corona virus disruption, we have expanded our online offering so that your employees can continue to learn while working from home. Our experienced trainers can provide inspiring sessions and webinars live online. These include and are not limited to: virtual classrooms for foreign and English language training, international assignee briefings, country-specific cultural briefings, unconscious bias and virtual culture coaching. Please contact us if you would like to discuss these options on 020 8295 5877.