INTERNATIONAL TEAM DEVELOPMENT

How can we get an international team ready to face the tough performance expectations ahead?

 

THE CONTEXT

Beiersdorf is a German-based global company specialising in skin care with NIVEA as its largest brand. Throughout its 130-year history it has built trust by staying close to its consumers and developing innovative skin care brands that are tailored to their needs. As its head into the future, it wants to become the number one skin care company in the world. The engine for achieving the performance targets are the Management Units that sometimes comprise large single country affiliates, and in other contexts are a collection of medium-sized or smaller affiliates.


THE CHALLENGE

Beiersdorf Management Unit South-East Asia (comprising Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar) requires a more integrated leadership team comprising Country Managing Directors as well as Functional Heads to deliver new demanding sales targets coming from Head Office in Germany. This is coming at a time of change within the Management Unit itself where the largest market – Thailand - can no longer be relied on alone for growth, and therefore the team needs to take a broader, more integrated focus on the MU as a whole.

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HOW WE RESPONDED

One of our associates worked closely with the MU Managing Director and the HR Director to design and facilitate a series of two-day team development workshops – taking place in Thailand- to help the team to grow as vehicle for change, integration and higher performance in the region. This has so far involved two workshops for the Leadership Team where the teams has worked on building a common vision and operating agreement for working as one team across the region. As an essential part of the integration process, the team has also run a survey (using the International Team Trust Indicator) to understand and remedy the gaps between what team-members want and are currently getting in terms of trust. Mutual needs between the Country Managers and the Functional Heads (based in Thailand) have been shared, and the MU Managing Director has asked for and received feedback as to how he can lead the team more effectively.


RESULTS

The team Climate Survey has indicated higher levels of motivation within the team, and team has been better equipped to handle the challenge of a stagnation in sales due to market changes in Thailand. The vision and operating agreement has been rolled out to other markets where the TCO Associate has helped facilitate to get buy-in at the next level of management.

WHAT ELSE?

This project has helped considerably in our thinking about teams in general, and top teams in particular. It has helped build our repertoire of skills in getting top teams away from being pure mechanisms for reporting progress and making recommendations, and towards becoming real teams with common purpose, clear performance targets and high levels of interdependence.