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Out of Our Minds
Saturday, October 15, 2005 4:39 PM
Global Limits
Eric McNulty on Business

I've been working on a project that will culminate in Shanghai next week and it has shown me how much more stress is being put on organizations -- and individuals -- who are going global at the team level.

You quickly run up against the physcial realities of time zones: 'If you get into the office at 7:30 in the morning and I stay in the office until 7:30 at night, we can actually talk to each other with our files in front of us.' It doesn't get any easier when you make the calls from home.

In my case the project requires in-person execution as well (and I think teams work better when they've met face-to-face at least once), so there is the additional excitement of long plane rides, jet lag, etc. I love to travel but it isn't easy on the body.

The notion of real time global collaboration is great and there have been some wonderful moments. We have navigated some interesting cultural differences and expectations. I get the fun of blogging at 4 a.m. from Beijing. But there have been completely new sources of stress and pressure.\n\nIs this the new reality? Is it sustainable? At what point do we push up against the limitations of the physical world and say, 'this is crazy'?

1 comment

Janet Auty-Carlisle - 10/16/2005 5:53:41 PM
Eric, You say this is crazy when you begin to feel this is crazy..When I owned my relocation firm we had many clients from Hong Kong. It was not unusual for me to be on the phone or sending/receiving faxes at 4am. I finally had to put my own perameteres on the times and set some boundaries. It took courage for me to do so as I wanted to do the best job for the clients and part of that meant, I thought, being available when they wanted me to be. What I found was that I began to resent those calls into my personal life, (sleep) which led to me not providing the best work possible. Setting boundaries worked very well. I never lost any clients so it must have worked fine for everybody. Living la vida fearless, Jan


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