The Value of Working in International Teams
One thing that makes the #valleychallenge really special is our global approach: Everyone at WACKER had the chance to apply, from every region, function and position. The result is now a really diverse set-up of participants: Our teams come from Germany, China, USA, Sweden, Vietnam, Korea and Brazil, forming a cross-section of the WACKER world.
Working in such a multi-national environment is both challenging and rewarding. For once, I can say it clearly boosts creativity and productivity: When you work with people from different countries and backgrounds, with different experiences and different mindsets, they are very likely to come up with ideas that would never have crossed your mind. As markets and customers differ, the local market knowledge and insight coming from every team member is extremely valuable – because what works in Germany might be a complete failure in Korea! For this reason, our international team set-up here is one crucial prerequisite to make the business ideas more competitive and profitable.
Of course, not all is rosy when you are working in international groups. I guess we all made the experience that a homogeneous team can seem easier, simply because you are more likely to share the same opinions and thus agree faster. Also, having to cope with different attitudes, backgrounds and know-how doesn’t make it any easier to find a bottom line – something we already experienced, too. And finally, let’s not forget the difficulties of language and culture barriers.
But in the end, the advantages prevail. An article in the Harvard Business Review summed it up nicely when it stated that diverse teams feel less comfortable – and in the end perform better for exactly that reason.
When I look at our teams here, I too can say it is worth the effort! The three teams are highly diverse, and they are surely facing the challenges stated above – but they are obviously also reaping the rewards of such an environment – #takingchancestogether.