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Running Head: HOW TO GET PROJECT DONE WITH GEOGRAPHICAL BOUNDARIES 1
How to get Project Done with Geographical Boundaries
New York Institute of Technology
HOW TO GET PROJECT DONE WITH GEOGRAPHICAL BOUNDARIES 2
With the growing diversity taking place all of the world, it is very likely to find yourself
in a group that comes from many different nations. The benefits are insurmountable since one is
exposed to information and technologies that they may not have been privy to if the integration
of cultures had never taken place. Culture enrichment, while increasing our world view and
knowledge, also may impose some difficulties within group dynamics. Some of those
complications include communication boundaries, cultural definitions and meanings,
overcoming timing, bonding while battling geographic distances, group identity, and setting
ourselves up for systematic success. This paper will dive into the dynamics of a group of six
individuals under my management and the steps I would take to resolve those issues to keep the
project on task for a December 15th deadline.
Communication is always a key issue when dealing with any type of group capacities,
add on the ties of being geographically dispersed and you have an even more difficult situation
on your hands. Communication is also the backbone to every group dynamic, without it
completing task are nearly impossible. In today’s day and age, we do receive some relief by an
abundance of systems that we have available to help better streamline the process. The very first
step is to find a communication technique that works for everyone in your group. Some of the
means available are video conferencing, emails, texting apps (there are some that have multi
linguistic capabilities that would help to reduce language barriers) and phone conferencing.
Once you establish a way to communicate you also have to figure out the how. Knowing
that your team is globally diverse means you also have to find a way to create some type of
consistency. Drawing from personal experiences, working for Turner, there are many national
department that interact daily. Holding an 8am meeting in New York would never work well for
HOW TO GET PROJECT DONE WITH GEOGRAPHICAL BOUNDARIES 3
the California office. Whenever meeting are held for the entire company everyone tries to be
mindful of how globally dispersed the company is. Understanding communication issues goes
deeper than just finding a way but also realizing that the exact opposite, miscommunication, can
be just as big a deal.
According to an article featured in the Harvard Business Review, miscommunication with
your teams will lead to feelings of isolation. The best way they felt to address it is to make sure
that you have a two way learning street so that everyone feels they are contributing to the team.
The article also deals with the responsibility of the management to be mindful of group
behaviors and not to make assumptions about what the behavior could mean (Neeley, 2015).
Another misreading communications was demonstrated in class. In America, when we are
speaking we like to be arm’s length apart from the person we are interacting with. Naturally, if
someone steps too close into our zone, we back out because our personal space is something we
are always conscious of. In other countries, we learned in class, it is not the same. If one is not
culturally aware they may not understand why their coworker is always too far or too close for
Subsequently the next step after finding the perfect level of communication is to put it
into practice. Another lesson we learned from class was about the timing of emails. In America,
it is commonly known that if I say I need information it means to get it as soon as possible and
send it over. In other countries, that may not be how they work because their perspective is that it
is too soon to send it. The best way to address that would be to setup clear and concise deadlines
so that confusion is dispelled. Two ways the authors of Leading Effective Global Virtual Teams:
The Consequences of Methods of Communication pointed out that seem very sufficient in getting
the job completed is clarify the objectives and to create a direct management reporting system.
HOW TO GET PROJECT DONE WITH GEOGRAPHICAL BOUNDARIES 4
By putting those two systems in place, it effectively communicates the goal and shifts the
responsibility back on to the workers to make sure it is getting done. The article pointed out that
if a team begins to slack that this will help them to feel the need to help the others get back on
track again (Morgan, Paucar-Caceres, & Wright, 2014).
“Make a Team not a group” (Raut, 2008), the significance of that line cannot be ignored.
Team building and bonding is another essential part of being successful. The journal documents
that it is important to be labeled as a team instead of a group. Teams have a central purpose that
they are working towards collectively whereas groups are centered on individualism (Raut,
2008). This idea in my opinion, can bring down overall group moral and give way to separation.
A team spirit makes the project take on more life and drives through meaningful quality of work.
It is part of the role of the manager to provide this environment so that task are being completed.
One program that worked well at Turner was my pushing for a diversity training. There are so
many people at Turner from different worlds, I felt strongly about embracing our differences and
creating a better team. I would use the same tactic to promote open communication on my team.
A part of creating that team dynamic is to know who you are working with and know
them well. Within that you must assess your team strengths and weaknesses to best put them
into use. As a group manager this assessment is very vital to the key to your success and also
keeping up moral. Providing a good balance of work will help alleviate stress. I would divide the
work based on people’s interest and also what they are good at. From there it may not be a bad
idea to create subgroups based on the locations of the team. If the subgroups happen to be in the
same location, it removes the feeling of being alone. If the subgroups are distant, it has the same
effect and it also increases their communications level which will ultimately benefit the team.
HOW TO GET PROJECT DONE WITH GEOGRAPHICAL BOUNDARIES 5
The final piece to my management would be to set my team up for systematic success.
That means putting a system in order that not only works but where they feel the rewards. Some
examples of that would be pointing out the hard work of an individual (similar to employee of
the month award) and finding other ways to push the team to wanting to do more for the
betterment of the group. We could create contests, maybe we do a cash prize or less work in the
next round as an incentive. This would keep the group energy up while also keeping a healthy
amount of competition to get more of the job completed. There are not many people in this world
who don’t like rewards, if as a manager you can find a way to tap into that emotion you can build
an epic and dynamic team.
Overall, I believe this would be the most effective way to build a successful globally
dispersed team. Although those teams tend to face many challenges such as communication,
culture differences, building deadlines, identifying group strengths, and set up systems that work
for all of those on the team. With all of the methods listed to combat those and bring about a
team mindset the team would be destined for success. There are two famous quotes that sum up
the proper feel of this paper. “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked;
leadership is defined by results not attributes” from Peter Drucker. This quote shows how
essential it is to be an effective leader who drives their team to reaching tangible results.
“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people
believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish” from Sam Walton (Kruse, 2012).
This final quote, to me, sums up the way a group should be lead. All of your team members
should always feel as though they are an important component of the team. It will help to lead
people to think outside of their normal scope for solutions and keep them focused on the overall
HOW TO GET PROJECT DONE WITH GEOGRAPHICAL BOUNDARIES 6
goal. These are the most effective way to continue our cultural enrichment while maintaining
HOW TO GET PROJECT DONE WITH GEOGRAPHICAL BOUNDARIES 7
Neeley, T. (2015, October). Global Teams That Work. Retrieved October 31, 2016, from
Morgan, L., Paucar-Caceres, A., & Wright, G. (2014, February 19). Leading Effective Global
Virtual Teams: The Consequences of Methods of Communication. Systemic Practice & Action
Research. Retrieved October 31, 2016, from
Raut, D. (2008). Management Framework for Globally Distributed Teams in IT
Industry. International Business Information Management Association, 2, 146-149. Retrieved
October 31, 2016, from
Kruse, K. (2012, October 16). 100 Best Quotes on Leadership. Retrieved October 31, 2016, from