My inbox graced me with a perfect example of the challenges facing modern, global managers. The most interesting part of this is the radical inter-connectivity of businesses that don’t even think of themselves as “global,” yet simply have to acknowledge the complexity of a global marketplace. The set the context, my organization pays for and receives bid alerts for opportunities in our particular niche of the education market. Today I received this email that explains a contingency I wouldn’t have imagined if you gave me an hour to brainstorm.
What’s absolutely amazing about this is that anyone, small or large, solo or team, can take advantage of a global workforce like this. Websites like Elance and oDesk provide a marketplace for global talent that anyone can tap. We hear most often about “cheap” workers in India as the stereotype, but you can hire workers from the U.S. just as easily and pay rates that you’d pay to an expert in your local market. The benefit is these sites make it very easy to find the talent because the talent comes to you. You post a job and people respond to it. I have personally managed workers in the Philippines, Kenya, India and several other countries. It’s amazing what you can get done with the right mix of talent and it’s great when some of your workforce completes a job while you are sleeping halfway around the world.
Now, here’s the rub: if your management skills are lacking there is no chance you can hold together a remote workforce. It takes time, discipline and extensive communication skills. That’s why our Managing Ourselves workshops focus on, among other things, the details of remote collaboration and online teamwork. That’s the world you will work in someday, and we want to prepare you for success there.