July 12, 2020

Global Fitness for Work #1: What is it and Why is it important?

Hello everyone.

This is Helen Spencer-Oateyfrom the global people team at the University of Warwick welcome to thiswebinar global fitness for work.

This is the first in our series on this topicand today we're going to be looking at what is global fitness and why is itimportant we're going to be looking at these key questions first of all why isglobal fitness needed and I'll be giving you some case study examples toillustrate why that's important we'll then turn to well what is global fitnesswhat benefits does it bring and what about next steps so why do we needGoogle Fitness so I'd ask you to think for yourself do you or your employeeswork with colleagues and/or have customers and who speak a different mainlanguage or perhaps have a different nationality do you or your employeeswork in a different section of the organization or across differentsections or do you work in different countries if your answer to any of thesequestions is yes then global fitness is what you and your employees need so whatdoes it entail it requires a range of personal qualities that we call globalFitness vitality things like gazillions of flexibility it entails global fitnessknowledge and understanding such as political and legal context and othercontextual factors and Google Fitness skillfulness the ability to communicateand build relations effectively across boundaries things like that we're goingto be returning to those explanations in a little whileso nuts first look at some examples want to think about an international projectthat I was involved in it involved a set of staff in the UK and in China and theywere working in a number of different teams all focusing on a different set ofkey project goals after they'd been working for about two years togetherthey thought they would have a joint workshop in Beijing so my question toyou now is how much planning time do you think would be needed for arranging aworkshop like that well they decided in the autumn and the brochure was to beheld the following March in December they heard from their stakeholders thepeople who were funding the projects that they wanted to attend day one ofthe workshop so they needed to start planning around that however they didn'thear any more information even though both the British and Chinese teams triedto find out more no further information and yet and they needed they each neededapproval from their stakeholders in order to go ahead with the foot with theworkshop when it came to mid-january they still hadn't had any informationand in Britain at any rate the teams were asking Helen things asking methings like well can we book our tickets what about um the presentations who'sgiving the presentations do they need to be in Chinese as well as Englishquestions like that so we need to think how would you react in that kind ofsituation what personal qualities would be needed to deal with it effectively Ihave to say that the British team members were very frustrated and to behonest I was too then think when you get to when we gotto Beijing they were there for workshop we need to think what's the aim of aworkshop what do you think a workshop means are there any particular ways inwhich a room should be arranged are there any rules or regulations as itwere as to who can speak when things like that well when we got to Beijingand walked into the venue they found that the room was arranged somethinglike this large heavy furniture that couldn't be moved beautiful arrangementsof potted plants there was a banner at the front and when the British projectmanager or one of them went into the room her immediate reaction was oh no wecan't hold a workshop in a room like this how can we discuss easily and theresponse was oh well this is where we're going to have to hold it we'll havestopped to get used to it that was the kind of challenge that in fact the teamshad faced all the way along different kinds of expectations and are on a wholerange of things there were things like interpreting the male meaning of emailsfor instance one British project manager might say you could do it like this Isuggest you do it like this and then the Chinese kind of parts when they receivedit they're too easy ordering can we say no we won't do it like this thestakeholders are chosen English as the official language for the projects andyet that put an awful lot of extra work on to the Chinese partners and led tosome resentment decision-making procedures it seemsthere were differences in who at what level could make decisions and therewere different regulatory context so a whole raft of different things so then we need to think what would bethe qualities and skills and so on needed for operating in that kind ofcontext so we've noted earlier that Google Fitness vitality the personalqualities is a very important aspect of global fitness now in the examples Igave you particularly important is coping with uncertainty being flexiblebeing adaptable in other contexts other factors other qualities might beimportant and this is one of the things there's not one perfect global fitnesswe often need different qualities for different contexts then the second area Goble fitness isknowledge and understanding understanding others cultural beliefsand values we found hierarchy was an area that was very different between ourteam's own and others patterns of behavior and ways of doing things we'veIllustrated that with what a workshop is like are there certain ways that needthings need to be done what different perceptions should I say on that andthen you've got other people's systems and regulations these who could be legalpolitical educational so a range of different knowledge is needed fordifferent situations then if we come to skillfulness this is a very broadcategory communication is really important and we found differences indirectness and in directness was a critical element but there were otherthings too like turn-taking and so on second main area of skills buildingrelations with colleagues and clients now the British teams tended to be verytask focused and when they saw the schedule for the workshop in Beijing alot of the time had been allocated for sightseeing they were surprised that howcan we justify spending all this money to take the teams to China and thenspend most of the time visiting summer palace and so on but in fact buildingrelations spending social time together is also a very important factor whichaffects team effectiveness then there are other things like fulfillingprofessional responsibilities these can be very variable depending on thecontext things like global leadership the leaders should they give directionsdirectives instructions or should it be more consultative what about foreignlanguages whose language should be using how do we manage the different levels ofproficiency in foreign languages in team meetings and team projectsso a very wide range of different skills needed again for different situationswhat then are the benefits of having global fitness or working on nurturingit from the employees point of view it's very stimulating and they can have astrong sense of achievement at the end of that international project I talkedto you about the staff were all overwhelmingly saying they had gained ahuge amount from the whole experience they can be enhanced well-being but thepoint is if you're having to do things that you feel not do don't feel you'reconfident enough to really do well then you will feel stressed and so on sofocusing on developing global fitness can actually enhance well-being from anorganization's point of view when their staff their employees are globally fitthis will lead to more innovative solutions because they'll be able towork more effectively with people in diverse teams and different viewpointsthey'll be hired professional effectiveness and enhanced professionalrelations all of which will be good for the business so we can see actually knowthat global fitness and outcome goal is often it is something that we need towork at very often people just focus on that but actually the key really isfocusing on the process to get there and in our next webinar you'll learn moreabout the making sure the environment is is appropriate and the engagementroutines are also being taken up so if you'd like to know more aboutgetting support and training in this whole area we have a global people atwork eCos which has three modules seeing culture at work diverse teams at workand global leaders at work if you're interested in assessment thenwe have the global professionals profiler this gives insights intomultiple facets the individual employees confidence in their level of globalfitness in the different facets the global Fitness nurturing opportunitiesprovided by their organization and the extent to which individual employees areactually engaging with those opportunities so provides a very richpicture relevant to global fitness so if you'd like to find out more do visit ourwebsite where you can see the address there you're welcome to email us andalso listen to our other webinars for example the second one global fitnessfor work nurturing responsibilities so thank you very much you're very welcomenow to ask any questions you like here are the pictures of the coorg herbalteam at the University of Warwick do get in touch with us and thank you forlistening.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *