OCT 2013.

CONTENTS

HOT SPOTS UPDATES

We’ll be holding a Jam on 13-14 November where members of the Inclusion & Diversity Research Consortium can join a global online conversation on workplace flexibility and inclusive leadership.

Want to do some further reading on collaboration? Visit our website for a free sample chapter from Professor Lynda Gratton’s book Hot Spots and discover the secret to building effective and productive teams.

ARTICLES


HOT SPOTS COMMENTARY -
IS DIVERSITY THE ENEMY OF COLLABORATION?

By Tina Schneidermann, COO, Hot Spots Movement

Most of us would like to believe that the most effective teams are always the most diverse. But the fact is that while diverse teams may be “better” in terms of capability, when it comes to collaboration, the opposite is true. People find it easiest to work with those they find most similar to themselves, whether in terms of culture, gender, age, skills or location. Today, however, organisations which once crafted teams from a fairly homogenous pool of similarly educated employees have to factor different cultures and life stages into their team building. Ensuring that a disparate group of individuals works together effectively can be hard: whether it’s language, lifestyle or the Generation Gap, the differences between people can cause huge rifts in how well they work together. More

HANDSHAKE AIR KISS OR HAND OVER HEART? DO INNOCENT CULTURAL MISUNDERSTANDINGS STAND IN THE WAY OF COLLABORATION?

By Rachel Agelou

As a former military negotiator and cultural advisor, with significant experience at the extreme ends of cultural diversity, I have come to understand the terrible impact that misinterpreting cultural differences, and norms, can have. I have used my experiences and emotional intelligence to navigate around such diverse audiences as Somali pirates, Talib leaders and Irish paramilitaries.

Having plenty of experience working in multinational organisations, such as European Union and United Nations, I have been in a perfect position to test my own theory that cultural understanding is key in successful collaboration. More


COLLABORATION AND LEADERSHIP

By Professor Lynda Gratton

As a business professor, I’m often asked about the nature of leadership today. When I think about what it means to be a leader right now, the first thing that comes to mind is the fact that leaders today need to deal with many stakeholders – from NGOs that are becoming more voracious in their demands to followers who are increasingly emboldened.

More than 15 years ago my colleague Sumantra Ghoshal and I wrote business cases on three companies that were at that time leaders in their field: BP, Royal Bank of Scotland and Nokia. More

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NEW WAYS OF WORKING MASTERCLASS

Despite inclement weather, most of our delegates managed to make it to our New Ways of Working Masterclass in London for a jam-packed day of thought leadership, practical exercises and talks by industry experts.

We caught up with one of our delegates to ask about their experience of the event – you can see what they said in our video interview with Craig Yetter, Novartis.

COLLABORATION CASE STUDY: MITSUBISHI UFJ SECURITIES INTERNATIONAL

At the Hot Spots Movement, we’re not just interested in collaboration, we actively work with organisations to help them boost their collaborative capabilities. Here’s what Sarah Cawthra, Managing Director, Human Resources and Communications at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International had to say about our collaboration project with them:

“In early 2010, Cliff De Souza, CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International (MUSI), identified that the business had reached an inflection point. He had made significant changes to MUSI’s culture, business model and service offering, but in order to continue on the same growth trajectory and transform the firm’s culture, it was key to deeply understand the drivers of high performance across every part of the business, both front office and support functions. Cliff commented, “Working effectively as teams is an important focus for us because so many of our specialists have expert skills and come from highly diverse backgrounds.” As part of the largest financial institution in Japan, Cliff was also interested in the way MUSI works internationally, particularly with relation to the bank’s headquarters in Japan." More


WHO’S IN OUR NETWORK?

At the Hot Spots Movement, we’re always keen to meet new people with exciting perspectives on our key themes. And introduce them to our readers. This month, we’ve decided to showcase Rachel Agelou, this month’s guest contributor. Rachel worked for the military for a long time and has experience as a facilitator in extreme situations such as war zones and other hot spots (see what we did there?). Given her track record of ensuring effective collaboration against all odds, we were extremely pleased when she decided to share her wisdom by providing an article for our newsletter.

Rachel has led influence operations, in both British and International military teams, in such places as Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and has been part of a large European Union and United Nations Missions. She tells us she has achieved staggering improvements through coaching people to improve their cultural awareness. Rachel emphasises understanding other cultures is essential but most importantly understanding your own culture and the hidden barriers it presents is vital.

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