TON: Managing distributed teams and cross-cultural management

September 23, 2013

The next TON (The Outsourcing/Offshoring Network) program will look closely at the art of managing distributed teams and management across cultures. Both of these topics are inextricably linked to outsourcing and offshoring.  By definition, the outsourced/offshored work teams are distributed whether just down the street or across the globe while managing across cultures presents challenges for companies outsourcing from one side of the Øresunds Bridge to the other (Sweden and Denmark) as well as for those working with colleagues and suppliers in more far flung destinations.

In order to get under the skin of these topics, we will be taking a “deep dive” into FLSmidth Airtech’s journey through offshoring and outsourcing. We will be joined by Ole Bøegh, CEO; Jørgen Iversen, General Manager; and Bülent Semovski, CFO. These leaders from FLSmidth Airtech will provide insight and experience from their efforts of offshoring engineering as well as establishing a shared services center.

Complimenting the strategic context, we will hear from several managers with operational responsibility. In round table format, we will get a chance to truly understand the challenges of transitioning from a growth model to a capacity management one; of managing at a distance; and of being part of the offshored workforce interacting with the Danish management.

As a counterpoint to the FLSmidth deep dive, we will have a chance in the afternoon to look at a case from Novozymes. Lisbeth Bech, Director, Novozymes, will come with insight and learnings from their efforts in establishing production in India.

Throughout the day, our focus will be squarely on addressing the challenges of working at a distance and across cultures so that we can manage them more effectively and improve outcomes.