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Working as One Team: USA and the Philippines

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This is a case study of a global team composed of Filipinos and US American based on ITAP's experience with a number of global clients. It describes a team that suffers through many communication breakdowns, high attrition and missed deadlines. Team members' perceptions of each other suggest that the team could benefit from learning about each other's cultural background. Furthermore, the team members took ITAP's Team Process Questionnaire (TPQ), uncovering some problematic patterns of interaction among team members. ITAP's intervention led to a marked improvement in the team's performance.

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Working as One Team: USA and the Philippines

  1. 1. Catherine Mercer Bing Managing Director, ITAP Americas, Inc. (w) 1.215.860.5640 http://www.itapintl.com 1 ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Working as One Team: USA and the Philippines
  2. 2. Agenda • Introduction • Findings: Interviews with US American team members… • Findings: Interviews with Filipino team members… • ITAP’s Recommendations • Findings from ITAP’s GTPQ™ • Outcomes from the Workshop • ITAP’s Global Team Process Questionnaire™ (GTPQ) ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 2
  3. 3. A Case Study: A Global Team in Trouble • A hotel chain from the Philippines is investing in a number of resorts across the USA • The global team in charge of this effort is lead by Carmen (Philippines) and Andy (USA) • Together they manage team members in the Philippines and the USA ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 3
  4. 4. The Case Study • Carmen and Andy are composites of team leaders that have worked with ITAP • This presentation highlights some insights that ITAP shared with professionals such as Carmen and Andy ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 4
  5. 5. Leaders of a Global Team • Both Carmen and Andy have travelled the world • They assumed that they can easily guide a cross-cultural team to success… 5 ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. A Low Performing Team is Bad for Business… • Communication suddenly break down, and team members fail to focus on key priorities • Some of the best employees left the team; hiring new talent has been delayed • Time and money is wasted on rework • The business failed to win key contracts due to missed deadlines ©2011 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 6
  7. 7. Global Team with a Disappointing Performance • Their team’s performance was weak • But the initial team members were exceptional and experienced, but the team’s work fell short of everyone’s expectations ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 7
  8. 8. Seeking Help • Carmen and Andy realized that they needed to gain a deeper understanding into how culture shapes human process interactions in the workplace • They searched for a consulting firm that supports core business partnerships-- identifying, implementing, managing, and evaluating partnerships, and found ITAP ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 8
  9. 9. Prioritizing Curiosity • Carmen and Andy decided to put their feelings of anger and frustration aside • With ITAP’s help, they realized that as global leaders they needed to embrace key prerequisites: –Be curious about differences –Leverage the differences ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 9
  10. 10. Initial Conversation • ITAP interviewed Carmen, Andy, and some key team members about their experiences working with each other – Frustrations – What worked well ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 10
  11. 11. Agenda • Introduction • Findings: Interviews with US American team members… • Findings: Interviews with Filipino team members… • ITAP’s Recommendations • Findings from ITAP’s GTPQ™ • Outcomes from the Workshop • ITAP’s Global Team Process Questionnaire™ (GTPQ) ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 11
  12. 12. Findings: USA Team’s Perceptions of Philippine Team • He said he agrees with me over email and on the phone. But during the team meetings, he didn’t support me. He yields to the group’s opinion • I want to hear a “no” answer when the answer is a “no.” I don’t want to spend precious time at work guessing whether what I heard about work- related requests really means “no” to ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 12
  13. 13. Findings: USA Team’s Perceptions of Philippine Team • Some of our colleagues in the Philippines seem to be very prickly. At first they are very friendly, but if you say something critical about their work in front of others, they will take offense and let it fester for weeks • He was very pleasant, but later I learned that he was angry and had a lot of hostile feelings. I wish I had been given some clue! ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 13
  14. 14. Findings: USA Team’s Perceptions of Philippine Team • Some team members suddenly drop off for several hours or even days, and then I hear that they had some family obligation to take care of. • What could that be? Is this behavior allowed? Doesn’t their salary and benefit package allow them to hire help or otherwise take care of their families without interrupting the workflow? ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 14
  15. 15. Agenda • Introduction • Findings: Interviews with US American team members… • Findings: Interviews with Filipino team members… • ITAP’s Recommendations • Findings from ITAP’s GTPQ™ • Outcomes from the Workshop • ITAP’s Global Team Process Questionnaire™ (GTPQ) ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 15
  16. 16. Findings: Philippine Team’s Perceptions of USA Team • Some of our colleagues in the US use a harsh or loud tone of voice. I wish they voice their observations not as criticism but with a lot more tact. But they don’t. And that destroys otherwise good working relationships ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 16
  17. 17. • Some of them, don’t seem to have very strong bonds with their families. Some of them only visit their family members twice a year • I did a personal favor to one of one of my colleagues in the USA. She paid me back exactly what she owed me. It didn’t feel very nice or friendly. It was very mechanical. It would have been more friendly if she could have been less literal and more creative ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 17 Findings: Philippine Team’s Perceptions of USA Team
  18. 18. Agenda • Introduction • Findings: Interviews with US American team members… • Findings: Interviews with Filipino team members… • ITAP’s Recommendations • Findings from ITAP’s GTPQ™ • Outcomes from the Workshop • ITAP’s Global Team Process Questionnaire™ (GTPQ) ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 18
  19. 19. An Outline of ITAP’s Proposal  ASSESSMENT Create an early detection system to address problems, barriers and issues well before milestones are not met using an ongoing team assessment to help the team/team leader keep current on issues within the team  WORKSHOP Help the team understand cultural differences that impact work practices and perceptions of the “other” to improve the team internal dynamics Develop better communication around tasks and deadlines ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 19
  20. 20. Agenda • Introduction • Findings: Interviews with US American team members… • Findings: Interviews with Filipino team members… • ITAP’s Recommendations • Findings from ITAP’s GTPQ™ • Outcomes from the Workshop • ITAP’s Global Team Process Questionnaire™ (GTPQ) ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 20
  21. 21. What Carmen and Andy Like About ITAP’s GTPQ • The tool includes: – Some questions which never change (for data comparisons over time or with other teams) – Additional questions which are customizable • Team members and leaders can use data to: – Focus on real/current issues – Resolve misunderstandings – Establish team interaction protocols ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 21
  22. 22. Insights The Quantitative Questions Revealed Carmen and Andy learn the extent to which team members agree about:  the team’s strengths  the areas that needed improvement NOTE: Areas that the team members agree needs to be improved presents an opportunity for immediate improvement ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 22
  23. 23. ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 23
  24. 24. Exec Overview Regularly track results over time Individual Question results Data comparisons The GTPQ Helped Carmen and Andy ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 24
  25. 25. Workshop Design • Drawing on GTPQ’s assessment of team members’ perceptions of areas of strengths and weakness and cultural misperceptions, ITAP designed a series of interventions • One of the interventions that ITAP designed included a discussion of how cultural values impact behavior and work styles ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 25
  26. 26. Insights The Quantitative Questions Revealed • Qualitative part of the assessment revealed mistaken cultural perceptions • The next few slides show some questions that ITAP posed to team members at a workshop ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 26
  27. 27. Culture and Perception “We don’t see things how THEY are, we see things how WE are.” SOURCE: Anaïs Nin Perceptions are influenced by our “cultural lenses”
  28. 28. Topics Discussed at Workshop • Direct and frank How might Filipino behavior be perceived by someone who looks through the cultural lens of being direct and frank? ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 28
  29. 29. Topics Discussed at Workshop • Enjoyable to disagree How might Filipino behavior be perceived by someone who looks through the cultural lens of enjoying the challenge of disagreement? ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 29
  30. 30. Topics Discussed at Workshop • Expresses strong opinions How might Filipino behavior be perceived by someone who looks through the cultural lens of expressing strong opinions? ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 30
  31. 31. Topics Discussed at Workshop • Acts independently How might Filipino behavior be perceived by someone who looks through the cultural lens of acting independently? ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 31
  32. 32. Topics Discussed at Workshop • Pakikisama (smooth social interaction) How might U.S. American behavior be perceived by someone who looks through the cultural lens of pakikisama? ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 32
  33. 33. Topics Discussed at Workshop • Amor propio (self-esteem) How might U.S. American behavior be perceived by someone who looks through the cultural lens of amor propio? ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 33
  34. 34. Topics Discussed at Workshop • Hiya (shame or embarrassment) How might U.S. American behavior be perceived by someone who looks through the cultural lens of hiya? ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 34
  35. 35. Topics Discussed at Workshop • Philippine extended family (the basic unit of society) How might U.S. American behavior be perceived by someone who looks through the cultural lens of the Filipino extended family? ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 35
  36. 36. Topics Discussed at Workshop • Utang na loob (debt of gratitude) How might U.S. American behavior be perceived by someone who looks through the cultural lens of utang na loob? ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 36
  37. 37. The Deeper Learning • The discussion of how cultural values impact behavior and work styles also included an introduction to the Hofstede Cultural Model • Here is a brief overview of Hofstede’s framework ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 37
  38. 38. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 38 38 The Cultural Values Featured in Hofstede’s Framework Individual Orientation Self-reliance Group Orientation Interdependence Hierarchical Orientation Discipline Participative Orientation Acceptance of Responsibility Need for Certainty Precision Tolerance for Ambiguity Innovation Achievement Orientation Efficiency Quality of Life Orientation Custom Outputs & Personal Service Long-Term Orientation Developing New Market Opportunities Short-Term Orientation Fast Adaptation Individualism Power Distance Certainty Achievement Time Orientation Indulgence Orientation A sense of well-being Restraint Orientation Work-ethic Indulgence *This slide showcases ITAP’s terminology for Hofstede’s dimensions © 2018 ODE Consulting® Pte. Ltd. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
  39. 39. Agenda • Introduction • Findings: Interviews with US American team members… • Findings: Interviews with Filipino team members… • ITAP’s Recommendations • Findings from ITAP’s GTPQ™ • Outcomes from the Workshop • ITAP’s Global Team Process Questionnaire™ (GTPQ) ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 39
  40. 40. Slide 40 Carmen and Andy’s Experience with the GTPQ • Three months later, team members retook the GTPQ. The results confirmed: – Team members’ interactions improved – Process and performance improved • Carmen and Andy: –Continue to depend on the GTPQ to identify leading indicators of the team’s progress and performance –Have been certified (with two of their colleagues) to use the GTPQ so they can: • Access the tool online • Co-facilitate discussions of team results ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  41. 41. © 2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved 41 The U.S. American • Often is direct and frank • Finds it acceptable (even enjoyable) to disagree • Tends to express strong opinions • Often acts independently The Filipino  Considers frankness tactless  Considers it a breach of etiquette to disagree/argue  Is afraid of being insulting if he gives a candid view  Has an attitude of interdependence (excerpted from the American Chamber of Commerce) Sample Insights from the Workshop
  42. 42. Results The workshop and follow up interventions yielded results: Communication improved Team members focused on key priorities New talent joined the team, and retention remains high The team is efficient and brings in new business ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 42
  43. 43. ITAP Can Help! The Global Team Process Questionnaire (GTPQ): – Client has the option to certify team leaders in the GTPQ process – Personal help from ITAP for interpreting the results and resolving team issues ITAP delivers an executive summary with analysis of the results in addition to the respondents’ answers 43 ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  44. 44. Agenda • Introduction • Findings: Interviews with US American team members… • Findings: Interviews with Filipino team members… • ITAP’s Recommendations • Findings from ITAP’s GTPQ™ • Outcomes from the Workshop • ITAP’s Global Team Process Questionnaire™ (GTPQ) ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 44
  45. 45. ITAP’s GTPQ Helps! • The Global Team Process Questionnaire™ (GTPQ) assesses human process interactions on teams and takes 15-20 minutes to complete • Measures change over time • Identifies examples of cultural misunderstandings ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 45
  46. 46. GTPQ Brings Sustainable Practices • ITAP supports core global business partnerships -- identifying, implementing, managing, and evaluating partnerships • ITAP contributes to sustainable practices such as:  Win-win outsourcing  Value chain integration  New product development 46 ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  47. 47. • ITAP also recommends Many Cultures One Team: Build Your Cultural Repertoire, a new book on virtual teams by Catherine Mercer Bing • http://www.TechnicsPub.com 47 Many Cultures, One Team ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  48. 48. Acknowledgement • This presentation draws on the contributions of a number of experts • ITAP is especially grateful to – Marie Segura, Founder, CMC Business Solutions / ITAP Philippines – American Chamber of Commerce ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 48
  49. 49. Catherine Mercer Bing Managing Director ITAP Americas, Inc. ITAP International, Inc. 353 Nassau Street, 1st floor Princeton, NJ 08540 USA (W) 1.215.860.5640 http://www.itapintl.com 49 ©2018 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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