[Excerpt] Increasingly global and competitive in nature, today’s work environment necessitates more cooperation, collaboration, and cross-cultural understanding than ever before. Many significant changes have altered the way companies conduct business. Companies now compete in a global economy that demands quality goods and services at competitive prices. Consumers, through increasing demand for better quality, force companies to remain competitive by providing (1) tailored solutions for specific needs and (2) responding rapidly to market changes. In this global context, speed and personalized solutions create customer growth. But how do multinational companies respond to these two often competing forces? Expanding on the concept of traditional teams, one solution has been to institute virtual teams composed of diverse members best suited to a variety of projects. Consistent with the increasingly global context in which these teams operate, members of virtual teams must be dynamic, flexible, and culturally intelligent in order to speedily deliver tailored products and services globally.
Considering the increased use of virtual teams, this paper aims to explore the role of a global mindset in overcoming the challenges associated with working across cultures, especially when such teamwork occurs at a distance. Next, the differences between local and global mindsets will be discussed and essential global competencies identified. Finally, strategies for developing a global mindset in leaders and employees will be outlined.