You lead a global organization. Its success is dependent on effective cross-border collaboration. Both in and between global teams. Five ways to estimate impact:


How many people in your organization work in a multinational team? And how many of those teams, in turn, collaborate with other such teams, both internal and external? 

Add just one hour of extra work per week per person due to misunderstanding: additional emails, phone calls, video calls, face-to-face meetings. 

Let’s take a fictitious team: 10 people x 1.0 extra hour x 48 workweeks x 75 hourly cost = 36,000. That’s 3,600 for each colleague. USD or Euros. Year in, year out. 

You might want to ask each of your multinational teams to do the numbers. They won’t need much time. Then discuss those numbers. And the reasons for them.


When collaboration in and between multinational teams does not go well it can mean over budget, over schedule, poor quality, or any combination thereof.

Take your most important project. Go over budget by 1%, over schedule by 1%, reduce quality by 1%, or any combination thereof. Quantify the impact of that on your bottom-line?

Now ask the colleagues in that project if and how misunderstandings are making collaboration difficult. Ask them to then do the same calculation: impact on budget, schedule, quality.


What’s the negative impact on colleagues in multinational teams when their collaboration is slow, difficult, frustrating, or failing? 

You know your team. You know the performers. Quantify the impact on the bottom-line if just one of your top performers is frustrated, unmotivated, or even leaves the team. 

The negative impact is not only on results, but also on the performance of the rest of the team. Ask your people how collaboration is going, within their team, and with other teams.


You’re a global organization. With colleagues in different countries. Interacting with customers in those countries, both corporate-internal and -external. 

Quantify the impact on your bottom-line when just one customer is not happy interacting with your organization. Then quantify the impact if you lose that one customer.

Ask the team how interactions are going with your key customers: confusion, irritation, misunderstanding. Even better, ask your key customers how things are going.


Look at your business ecosystem. Your organization consists of multinational teams interacting with such teams on the supplier side.

Pick an important supplier. You know your numbers. Quantify the impact on the bottom-line when collaboration between your teams and their teams does not go well.

Then go one step further. Ask those teams interacting with suppliers to do their own quantification. Then compare the numbers. It might be eye-opening.

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