Developing Global Leaders Asia

Case Study

Cross-Cultural Competence - Global Bank

diagnostics Diagnosis

After discussions with the HR Director and CEO we agreed that several teams within the organization would be trained in cross-cultural competence. These teams consisted of diverse groups primarily from Asia, but including a few members from other parts of the World. The teams were responsible for sales of certain financial services and had to deal with customers in all parts of the World. Communication with customers was mainly via telephone and the team met once a week to discuss results and key initiatives. The managers were primarily from Europe and had limited experience in Asia.


We prepared a proposal for a series of 2-day workshops on cross-cultural competence. It was agreed that at the end of this workshop an assessment would be prepared with the assistance of the participants identifying further areas where development was needed. This assessment was then discussed with the client's senior management and an action plan prepared.


The key focus areas were:


  • - Building a cross-cultural team
  • - Working effectively as a virtual team across borders
  • - Leading in a new cultural environment (for team leaders)

The program consisted of both group and individual programs.


diagnostics Development and Execution


A 4 week program was developed as illustrated below:


Week 1


Week 2


Week 3


Week 4


Building a cross-cultural team


Culture's effects on business functions and on management of people

Verbal and non-verbal communication across borders

Future action plan

Working effectively as a virtual team


Working across borders: The virtual team

Virtual cross-cultural communication: The use of technology

Future action plan

Leading in a new cultural environment

Leading teams – individual session



Future action plan


diagnostics Results and the Way Forward

Clear goals and measures were identified and agreed with the client during phase 1 of the assignment to ensure that the results and pay-back could be properly assessed. The main measures were the following:


Upon completion of Stage 2: Formal assessments were prepared by each team member, and action points committed for the next 3-6 months. The program was followed up by participating in team meetings in order to monitor developments. For the team leaders, further individual coaching sessions were organized on an as needed basis.


3-6 months later:


Individual reports were gathered about the training's effect on team performance. Interviews were also conducted with stakeholders working with the teams.