Organizational culture arises from the way in which employees relate to one another, their team dynamics and their customers. Within each organization, teams create their own dynamic – a sub-culture, if you will. Today’s organizations rarely work within a single cultural context; rather they contend with vast diversities with people from all continents. Teams have thus developed more complex layers – not from a hierarchical point of view (as this is becoming an outdated management style) but from the unique contributions of people with different values, perspectives and backgrounds.
Impact of individual culture on team dynamics
If, like me, you work in a multicultural organization, you may have heard of the 6-D Model, a cultural comparison tool by Hofstede and colleagues. Dutch Professor Geert Hofstede is renowned for one of the most comprehensive studies of how culture influences workplace values.
He defines culture as “the collective programming of the mind distinguishing the members of one group or category of people from others”. Integrating multi-cultural individuals into a team dynamic can present incredible opportunities for creativity and innovation. But it’s not likely to happen on its own – it also presents unique challenges. Such teams need a solid foundation in which their own qualities and commonalities can be defined.
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Team dynamics are changing
Organizations are transcending cultural boundaries to broaden their talent pool and tap into experience, skill and knowledge from across the globe. Employees are often part of several different but perhaps overlapping teams that all work together to achieve overarching business goals. Modern technology is also constantly changing the way we communicate.
This impacts how we form teams, how we work together as a team and how we interact with other team members. How to create a successful team dynamic in a time when collaboration is the modus operandi is a question many HR executives are eager to answer.
Importance of team building
This is because creating and maintaining high-performing team dynamics has become a strategic advantage. Organizations whether large or small are investing in team development, not least because highly effective team building have a significant impact on growth and innovation. Author and HR guru, Lencioni contends, “Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”
As business needs are changing at a high pace today, so are the needs of individual team members. So, how can you gain insights into team dynamics and discover the best ways to support and develop your team?
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