Case: Managing a Global Team: Greg James at Sun Microsystems, Inc. (A)
Greg James, a Global Manager at Sun Microsystems, Inc. (A) comes across a critical issue wherein the server of the client (HS Holdings) went down and Sun’s 24x7 software premium - a $300K service was not able to engage them and get the issue resolved. The client was threatening a lawsuit because it breached the service contract.
Greg James needed to identify the root cause of the issue and sets out to meet his global team spanned across India, France, UAE, and US. While traveling across these countries and meeting his team he realizes that the problem was more complex than he had realized (as mentioned to Pam Lawry in the article). Greg’s management of the project reflected Illusion of Control (Shore 6) as he was never able to foresee any issue or conflict occurring within the team. His team was a global team spanning across geographies, so he was a virtual manager (Mantel | ...view middle of the document...
Aligning the team in one common direction will help teams understand the importance of the work they do and impact they create to the business. Also he should resolve interpersonal and team issues, bring better communication channels and have regular dialogue regarding the performance expectations and accountability within the team (Michelman 9). He should institutionalize weekly meetings with his team managers and ask them to share the work status of the respective teams and deal with any issue that might have creeped in. Also, with respect to communication he needs to hear out the concerns from the teams at various geographies and be willing to take criticism which will in the long run establish strong team bonding and will engender commitment and loyalty (Michelman 9). Greg should have an honest conversation with the teams at different geographies to address their issues of compensation and vacation. As a strong leader Greg should provide clarity to his team on how the participants need to interact and support each other as “the best team members anticipate the needs of each other” (Michelman 9). Greg has to improve his emotional intelligence (EI) because only when the team members trust one another, share a strong sense of group identity and have confidence in each other, will the team be effective and delivering at a high performance (Ross 11,12). In this regard, Greg should make sure that the team appreciates each other’s skills because teams where people know one another better are more efficient and get more work done (Ross 11). In short, Greg has to make some technical changes to the existing work flow process to avoid any errors or miscommunication and also he has to lead in a way that builds trust and mutual respect within the team.
Kotter, John P. "What Leaders Really Do." (n.d.): 5,6.
Mantel | Meredith | Shafer | Sutton. "Project Management in Practice." John Wiley & Sons, Inc., n.d. 48.
Michelman, Paul. "How will you make your team a Team." (n.d.): 9.
Ross, Judith A. "Make Your Good Team Great." HBR (n.d.).
Shore, Barry. "Systematic Biases and Culture." (n.d.): 6.