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Working beyond borders requires …

October 17, 2010

… unleashing creativity, flexibility and speed

This is according to the 2010 IBM Global Chief HR Officer study ‘Working beyond borders’.

On an individual level, I’d add:

  • An openness to different ways of doing things than your own;
  • the ability to influence across cultures (national as well organisational), and
  • lots of resilience and patience, when things are not working out the way one planned.

Yes, 21st century technology has enabled some of us to work from where ever we are, and to connect and collaborate with people on all five continents at the same time, if need be.

Yet I see in my daily work how individuals are still stumbling over seemingly small things: the fact that it takes “10 e-mails to get the response they need from their foreign colleague”, the offence taken from the tone of some e-mails sent by non-English native speakers.

Petty, you think?  Maybe, but there’s a whole tail of reactions that follow such e-mails that can poison the work atmosphere and severely impact productivity.

So it seems we have a long way to go still to achieve the optimal way of working beyond borders.

On the bright side, however, it’s an exciting process of discovery; an opportunity to explore and create synergies from a range of perspectives.

If you’d like a closer look at the study:

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