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.”


“My tutor’s doing a great job of personalising the lessons to what I need; the sessions are intensive but good fun. The 1-2-1 time is really valuable to me.”

German Intermediate Language Lessons

Mundipharma IT Services

“Really enjoyed the course. My tutor was really nice, he was so patient with me and explained things in a way and manner that made it fun but got the message across. The school itself was great, all of the people were really nice and friendly and made us feel very welcome. All in all, I really enjoyed the complete experience.“

German Residential Course

Computacenter, UK

View all testimonials