The setting: A NJ small business conference room
The participants: 12 from NJ; 10 from Beijing, China
The plot: Emerging leaders in a growing life sciences business join together to build their effectiveness as a team.
The challenge: How to find a time to meet where everyone is normally awake and available. Beijing is 12 hours ahead of NJ-time.
The collaborative solution – All participants share in a bit of discomfort with the Beijing folks starting their day a bit early and the NJ folks ending their work days a bit later —Consecutive Tuesday evenings, 6 – 9 PM EST or 6 – 9 AM Beijing time.
Many businesses are dealing with this sort of time zone challenge when doing business today. “Sharing the pain” seems to be a common solution to this challenge where leadership groups trade-off being inconvenienced in order to have time together. Technology helps gives global enterprises tools to assist this sort of collaboration, but how groups decide to operate across time zones speaks to the ability to create and tolerate a new “normal.” In collaborations, there are many trade-offs needed in order for each member to feel accepted and valued.
What has your team done to create an accepting atmosphere for difference?