CPC conducted a workshop using the team management system (TMS) to help managers in a bank based in Singapore and Malaysia achieve their goal of effectively leading virtual teams.
The program was based on the needs of managers in the bank's operations and technology division, mainly located in Singapore and Malaysia. The bank was going through some internal restructuring and change in response to external competitive forces and the need to consolidate internal practices. They needed a strategy and plan for developing leaders and preparing them with management skills for the long-run. The participants ranged from first line-managers to senior heads of department.
The source of many problems in this group was found to be inconsistent leader behaviour, lack of trust and loss of identity along with a sense of 'us and them', caused by the virtual team dynamic. However the problems were also found to be exacerbated by poor management practices and skills. Put simply, they were not clear about the demands of managing virtual teams.
A meeting with the Leadership and Development group and the division heads agreed that the key concerns were:
- Performance management problems
- Cross-cultural communication issues
- Dealing with virtual teams
- Diversity management
- Poor leadership
A solution was designed to help participants learn the key skills and frameworks required to lead virtual teams effectively within the bank's division in the two countries. It was critical that the program helped managers to build skills to deal with issues encountered in managing different ethnic groups, variable commitment and performance in a virtual team environment.
Having considered the issue of personal awareness to be vital, the Team Management Profile (TMP) was an obvious choice for providing feedback to participants on their role preferences and hence their communication and leadership behaviour. The Profile also helped to emphasize valuing of differences (and diversity) in relation to cross-cultural communications. This proved to be a sound decision and very valuable for the participants.
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