In this chapter we read about leaders creating cultural synergy. In today’s world the opportunity to create synergy is available in our work lives, personal lives and school life. Every day we work around people from different cultures that have a different way of looking at things. A person from a specific culture may approach a problem differently than a person from another culture. When there is cultural synergy, people learn from each other and work together to accomplish goals (Moran, Harris & Moran, 2015).
I recently watched a movie that reminded me of what we’re learning in this lesson. The movie is about a group of boys that live in a migrant town with low expectations of life. A coach that recently lost his job at a high-end school, comes to this town as his only option because of pervious mistakes. Although the coach and the group of boys come from very different cultures, they adapt to each other and start working together as a team. In order for this to happen the coach had to better understand the culture of the boys. The coach spent time with the boys and even went as far as spending a day with them working the fields. The coach took this group of boys, with no goals other than work in the fields for a living, and turned them into the first state champions in the history of that town. With a better understanding of your team, you can better understand how to support and make them work together (Moran, Harris & Moran, 2015).
How do we create synergy in our teams? In order to create synergy in our teams we must work with our group and understand the dynamics of each individual. We must create an environment where people feel at ease of sharing their ideas and managing conflict so people are not afraid to share. Once the environment is created where people can work together, team members start learning from each other. In order to reach this stage it is necessary to spend some time doing research or spending time with the members of the team to better understand the way they are. This will help understand how to manage the team. Understand what makes each team member valuable to the overall mission of the team. Every member of the team will contribute in their own unique way (Moran, Harris & Moran, 2015). In the example of the coach, there were team members that were not athletic, but their importance to the team was the ability to keep everyone intact.
When synergy is created in a time it is important to understand that there are somethings that must be managed carefully to keep the synergy in place. If you look around your team you’ll notice that there’s people from different parts of the world with different perspectives. When having so many different people with different ideas it is common to have conflict amongst individuals of a team. Conflict is a fact of life and when dealing with other people it can be inevitable (Moran, Harris & Moran, 2015). But conflict is not always a bad thing. If managed correctly, conflict can bring out great ideas from individuals of the team. Conflict can help take us places we never thought of (Moran, Harris & Moran, 2015).
Moran, R. T., Harris, P. R., & Moran, S. V. (2011). Chapter 9: Leadership in Creating Cultural Synergy. Managing cultural differences: Global leadership strategies for cross-cultural business success (8th ed.) (p. 232-252). Oxford, UK: Elsevier Inc.
Pennsylvania State University World Campus. (2015). OLEAD 497B Lesson 06: Cultural Synergy. Retrieved from https://courses.worldcampus.psu.edu/sp15/olead497b/001/content/06_lesson/01_page.html