Building a shared vision across cultures
KIA Motors, a South Korean company, opened a large production facility in the state of Nuevo Léon, Mexico. Most management for the plant came from South Korea, while roughly 2,700 Mexicans were hired as managers, office team members, and line team members. As to be expected with any cross-cultural venture, language and cultural differences presented new challenges.
Aperian Global held key stakeholder interviews, followed by an executive alignment session. Each team member completed the GlobeSmart Teaming Assessment (GTA). Aperian Global facilitators held 2-day team workshops for each department, where a Korean and Mexican manager assisted with the execution of the workshop.
Each workshop directly utilized the results of the team’s GTA survey results. Activities focused on team discussion and detection of issues, developing a shared vision, and action planning to improve team relationships and overall performance. Aperian Global certified internal facilitators on how to debrief GTA team reports for the remaining teams within the organization.
Over 400 employees took part in the workshops. Participants built a high degree of trust during their sessions, were willing to speak up about their needs, and listened to each other well. Work style differences between cultures were explored for better collaboration and understanding, leading to a focused team committed to creating a shared vision. Heads of departments were eager to own improvement ideas and initiatives moving forward, which helped secure buy-in from managers, supervisors, and employees.
This project was so successful it received an honorable mention in an internal innovation and leadership award contest. It was the only organizational development project submitted out of 98 entries and placed as one of the top 12 winners in the contest.