07 Apr 2018

What does a transition manager have to do with Cross Culture?

Transition time?

The RFP is done successfully. You are now sitting plum on a huge deal and all you have to do for the next promotion is to see that it goes smoothly.
Are you the transition manager for the big deal everyone in the office is talking about?
Are you the one who’s taking over the reins for that winning logo?
Easy, right?
Or…wait a minute… is it keeping you up at night?

A smooth transition starts with this

Transition can be smooth. Provided the required processes are followed. Provided everything is written in stone. And provided, nothing, but nothing, comes in the way of team work. Team work? Between the teams in India and in the United States? A team that has just barely gotten to know one another – that too over a skype call! One misunderstanding and things can go topsy turvy. And the project can go belly up on the floor. So what is that one essential thing that you forgot to put on the excel sheet for transition? Do you think a bit of cross cultural understanding would have helped?

Why cross culture for transition teams 

In a project that depends almost 100% on time and efficiency, you simply cannot take chances on things going wrong because of some kind of communication gap. Here’s a nice little conversation that could be the start of a rapid downhill swing.

So let’s take the lead managers on both sides of the timeline.

William (Bill) and Rajsekharan (Raj) have been introduced on the phone and are exchanging notes.

Bill: Raj, Paul wants some more numbers on that last document you sent. Can I have them by Thursday?  

Raj: Er… Thursday?

Bill: (very clear) Yes Raj.  I need the numbers by Thursday and let’s have the call on Friday at 8 am.

Raj: (who is taking the day off on Friday) I can try. 

Bill: That’s great

Raj: You know, Friday is a special day.

Bill: Special? Why?

Raj: It’s my daughter’s birthday. (what he doesn’t say: So I am taking the day off)

Bill: (Wondering why he is being told this) Oh how nice. That’s cool. I hope she has fun.

Raj: Thank you Bill. So it’s okay then 

Bill: So about that call… Raj…

Can you guess what happened next?

Did Bill get the material on Thursday? 

Was Raj on the call with Paul on Friday? 

What did Raj thank Bill for? 

If the numbers didn’t go to Paul, how would you as a Transition Manager based in India explain the conversation? 

What would you do as a Transition Manager?

Transition is about teamwork and teamwork is about two people from very different cultures working together. There are ways to make it work and one of them is through cross culture workshops. If you think this is likely to happen to your team, simply leave a comment below and we’ll have a conversation on how we can help. Check out our solutions. Or talk to us at vaishakhi@abacusyellow.com