Project: India-U.S. cross-cultural awareness training in support of global teams performance improvement
A leading supplier of software for enterprise information management was one of the early U.S. information technology companies to establish offshore operations in India. Starting with 20 people and one small line of business in the 1990s, the company's presence had grown to 40 lines of business and over 6,000 employees. In the company's highly decentralized culture, each line of business was responsible for its own operations. U.S.-based managers of Indian descent tended to function informally as the "go-to" persons for cross-cultural issues surfacing between their U.S. and India teams. Divisional HR units and corporate education did not have any systematic cross-cultural training.
Pilot in several divisions a hands-on instructor-led program to prepare U.S. teams for working more effectively with India, and a webcast program for teams in India to help them understand the teamwork, communication and behavioral style of American business.
Starting with the IT infrastructure support division, then moving to applications development, software education, sales, and finance, teams in different divisions were given CMCT’s region-specific cross-cultural training on India and the U.S. On the basis of participant feedback, the programs were gradually customized and enhanced to include a substantial element of problem solving and action planning, in addition to the baseline cultural awareness. As a result of word-of-mouth reports about the usefulness of these trainings to the participants, both the "Working with India" and the "Working with Americans" programs were made part of the company-wide offerings of the corporate university. Over a period of several years, some 500 employees, ranging from individual contributors to vice presidents, received this training.
At the level of both individuals and teams, a significant improvement in both attitudes and operational working relations, as a result of understanding specific cross-cultural factors and learning adaptive approaches to dealing with them on a day-to-day interaction and ongoing process improvement manner.
Cross-Cultural Training, Training Program Development, Organizational Needs Assessment, Cross-Cultural Consulting.
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