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An Interview with Ph.D. Mansour Javidan Regarding Building Trust in Global Teams

Transcription of interview with Ph.D. Mansour Javidan, Director and Garvin Distinguished Professor - Najafi Global Mindset Institute, Thunderbird School of Global Management, USA.


Research and Development Department


Victoria Gálvez, Senior Project Manager,

Flavia Cáceres, Project Coordinator,

Pablo López, Research Coordinator,

Javier Huamán, Human Resources Generalist


(May 9th, 2022)



00:00 Flavia Cáceres: Okay. I’d like to start the meeting by introducing my

colleagues. So, I'm gonna start by introducing Victoria Gálvez who is the Senior

Project Manager.


00:30 Victoria Gálvez: Hello, it's very nice to meet you.


00:34 Flavia Cáceres: Then I'm gonna go with Pablo López, who is the Research

and Development Coordinator.


00:39 Pablo López: Hello, thank you for being here.


00:42 Flavia Cáceres: And last but not least Javier Huaman, who is the Research

and Development Coordinator.


00:47 Javier Huaman: Hi, glad to meet you.


00:54 Pablo López: Sorry. Before we continue, I think we're having some problems

with your audio. Is anyone else having that? I think we can’t hear you.


01:05 Flavia Cáceres: Oh yeah, no, we can not.


01:22 Victoria Gálvez: Could you try joining the link again? Perhaps that might

help.


02:41 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Okay. Can you hear me now?


02:45 Flavia Cáceres: Oh yeah. Now we can hear you.


02:46 Victoria Gálvez: Yeah.

02:48 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: All right.

02:49 Pablo López: Yes. Okay.


02:52 Flavia Cáceres: So, to continue with the interview, I would like to briefly talk

about who we are, what is in AnnexBox. So AnnexBox is an IT startup company

whose main goal is to provide global virtual teams support and solutions in order

to enhance the synergy and productivity among them. And now I'll hand it off to

my colleague Pablo who is going to explain the purpose of this interview.


03:19 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Before we get into the interview, can you tell me

more about the company? What are you based on? What do you mean by IT

company providing solutions for global virtual teams? Do you provide technical

support or something in addition?


03:42 Victoria Gálvez: I can take that. So, we are headquartered in New York, in

the US, but we are a fully remote team. And the solutions that we are building to

offer other organizations are divided into two pillars. One of them being tech tools

and other people. So, we do want to offer also education on how to be productive

and efficient working remotely. For businesses who are starting out fully remote

from the beginning and also for businesses who want to switch to a remote

model.


04:16 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Okay. And how long have you been in business?


04:20 Victoria Gálvez: Since 2020, but we are at a very early stage. We're still

developing and testing out our products.


04:31 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Okay. All right.


04:33 Victoria Gálvez: Thank you.


04:37 Pablo López: Okay, thank you. Thank you both. So, hello again, my name is

Pablo. Thank you again for taking the time to join us today. Well, we would like to

discuss and have a conversation related to remote working and global virtual

teams. And in order to do that, we have crafted some questions that can guide our

conversation. So, as Victoria mentioned, before we start, please be sure that your

insight is of great value for us. We're still in the process, we are still building. All the

information here will be of great value for us. So, yeah, thank you. So, having said

that, let's just start with the first question.

05:36 Flavia Cáceres: Okay. Thank you. So now we can start with the questions.

05:40 Pablo López: So, as Flavia mentioned, we are a remote team and a global

team. We have been remote since the very beginning and as such we've

experienced those challenges and those difficulties that working remotely and

globally usually brings. So we would like to know about you. What have you

identified to be the main or the biggest challenges teams experience when

working remotely?


06:10 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: The biggest challenge that I've noticed in my own

work and working with companies... By the way, I myself am running a very large

global virtual team. I don't know if you're familiar with my global project. I'm a

Project Director with 424 professors in 143 countries. So, my understanding of

challenges is not just from my consulting work or from my research, but from my

day to day interactions with people from all over the world. The biggest challenge I

would point to is really about interpersonal relations. So, when you have people

from different locations, the beauty of virtual work is that it provides breadth. So

you can have a look at us, we may be in different cities in different countries, but

we're able to communicate, we are able to talk. So, the breadth of availability of

people is substantially increased by virtual technology. What is missing though is

depth. So, you and I talk for 45 minutes, we say goodbye, and then that's it. So,

when I work with these professors from all over the world, the challenge is to build

a strong interpersonal relationship, a strong group culture. Now, when you are in

the same building, there are so many opportunities to do that. Starting with let's

go and have coffee, and then we'll gossip, or we'll talk, we'll know more about each

other, we'll touch and feel each other. That opportunity doesn't exist. So people are

together using virtual technology, but at the same time, they really are not,

because the whole focus becomes on work. When I meet with my colleagues all

over the world, all we talk about is work. And so the relationship becomes purely

task oriented, the communication becomes purely task oriented, there's no depth

on the human side. Now, this challenge becomes more difficult when the virtual

team is actually cross-cultural, when you have people from different countries. If

you have a group of Americans in San Francisco, New York, LA, Seattle on a virtual

team, the problem of building interpersonal relations is very difficult. But when

you have people from Japan, Argentina, Colombia, and New York, that problem is

even bigger because the lack of cultural understanding and experience makes it

even harder to communicate and build proper relationships. So to me, that's the

biggest challenge. Now, let me add something. It is a challenge to my generation

and to people who are in their thirties. I wonder though, 20 years from now, the

kids who are five years old today, maybe they will become so good at virtual

relations that this issue is not a big deal to them. So, what I'm telling you is that

there may be a generational issue here simply because when I grew up, there was

no such thing as virtual technology. But look at what kids are doing today, how

they're using technology. So, they're spending hours and hours in virtual relations.

So maybe when they're adults, the relationship building issue is not as big a deal

as it is now.


10:49 Pablo López: Okay. Yeah. That's a really interesting point, the generational

challenge also. That's also something that can be seen when some team

members are from different generations that can struggle with virtuality because

of technology, which is another different thing. But yeah, that's exactly what our

next question is about. For those specific challenges that you just mentioned,

what can a virtual team do? What can they do to overcome them? What are the

solutions that may have impacted them, for example, what you just mentioned,

the sense of engagement and trying to build relationships with your team

members?


11:31 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Well, the number one recommendation I always

make to companies and managers is to create in-person opportunities. So have

people visit each other, organize in-person retreats, create opportunities for

people to get to know each other more than what you and I will do in this call.

Now, that's expensive, that takes time, but think of it as an investment, it is an

investment in building your team. Now, then the question becomes, well, what do

you do? When I say create in-person opportunities, how do you use that time? It's

not just, “let's go and have a drink or have a coffee or meal.” People have to be

purposeful, have to be organized about why they're meeting in person, what's the

purpose, and how are they going to achieve that purpose. So when I say create in

person opportunities, it's not just about let's go have fun together, it's about a very

organized approach for people to get to know each other as persons. Now, the

same thing can happen in a less effective way using virtual technology. Let me

give you an example, I see Latin American names in front of me. So, if we were a

team, the first thing I would want to know is, Pablo I want to know about you,

Flavia I want to know about you. What's your background? What part of the world

did you grow up in? How many languages do you speak? What kind of

experiences have you had? Have you had experiences working in virtual teams?

How was that experience? Positive or negative? How do you think we can work

together as a virtual team? So that's the kind of conversation you can have

virtually, but it's more effective and powerful if you do it in person. Curiosity is

really critical. Curiosity about each one of you as human beings, not just as

colleagues who help to contribute to the work. Now, again, the challenge

becomes much bigger when you have a global team. When you have people from

different countries, you really have to get people to understand each other's

cultural background, cultural ways of doing things. Because without that, every

time I disagree with Victoria, I'm attributing it to her because I don't know

anything about her cultural background, I don't know anything about her cultural

ways of doing things. So you try to create a sufficient amount of learning about

each other. You can do it virtually, but it'll be very cognitive. If you do it in person,

you have a higher opportunity of having a cognitive and affective impact on the

team member.


15:07 Pablo López: That's true. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on

this matter. And now that we're talking about culture, let's move on to a different

kind of culture. Next question. Let's talk about organizational culture. Culture is of

course a crucial part in any company. Doesn't matter if you're in an office or in a

remote environment, culture will always be something that you want to enhance.

But it's something that also virtual and global teams have a bad time trying to

build and to maintain while working remotely. So, in that sense, we would like to

know, what have you identified to be the main aspects that maintain or can

enhance a team's culture while working remotely?


15:56 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Well, I'm going to answer this question not just

based on my research, but on my own work. So here I am, Project Director of a

team of 424 researchers in 143 countries. I don't pay a cent to any one of them, the

reason they're part of this project is because of an intrinsic motivation. So, they get

attracted to the project or the purpose of the project and the research we're doing.

This project has been going on for over four years. So, to me, right from the

beginning, the challenge to me as a leader has been what kind of a culture do you

want to build. Remember, I have no incentive to offer other than the academic

quality of the work. And I can tell you that based on the feedback I received from

hundreds of my researchers, the team culture has been established. So now I'm

going to tell you how we manage to do that. The first thing is communication.

There is no such thing as over communication with a virtual team, you have to

constantly share information, ask for input, ask for feedback, answer questions on

a regular basis. So the pace of communication is critical. It's very easy for members

of a virtual team to feel ignored. So you wanna make sure you don't feel that

because it's very easy for them to feel that. So communication is number one.

Number two, transparency. You need to make sure people understand what the

objective is and how we are going to achieve that objective, and you need to make

sure people are comfortable with that. And if they have issues, you need to feel

safe to bring it up and you need to feel sure that you are sharing with them what

they need to know. If they feel that information is not being shared or updates are

not provided or they're not aware of some important aspects of what's going on,

you're going to lose it. So that's the second part, the transparency. The third part is

trust, and this is a tough one, but you can not achieve the third one without the

first two. You have to build trust. You need to build trust between you, the leader,

and the members of the team and among the team members. So you need to

ensure that as a leader of the team, you will do whatever you can to support the

team. And you have to explain that on a regular basis, what are the things you're

doing to support the team. When people ask you questions, my rule is 24 hours.

When somebody sends me an email with a concern or a question or some

feedback, I'll get back to them in 24 hours, they know that, they know they don't

have to wait, they know that I will respond. The answer I give them may not be the

answer they would like to hear, but they will get an answer and an explanation.

Constantly asking for their input. The last one that I would share is getting people

to know about each other, the stuff that I was talking about earlier. This is really

critical. So what I do as an example is, every three to six months, I hold workshops

for my researchers and the team presents to each other where they are with the

data, with the results, with the findings, and what they're doing. And when we get

together, because of the size we go into breakout rooms and have all kinds of

discussions among them, then we incorporate some social hour. We call it

network. So 20 minutes, and we tell them, “here are the breakout rooms, go join

whichever you want.” They see the list of the people who will join in different

breakouts. So it's these main mechanisms that I try to build the culture of respect,

trust, performance, everybody knows why we're together. Initially I had a team of

over 500 researchers, but I disqualified over a hundred of them and qualified 424.

That means over a hundred people did not deliver. And I sent them a very nice

letter telling them that here are the criteria, that you knew right from the

beginning we've used these criteria to evaluate your performance, and

unfortunately your performance does not meet our requirements. And everybody

else knows, the team members do not know who was disqualified, but they know

that a large number of people were disqualified because they did not perform

according to expectations. So, those are the mechanisms. I've done it with my

clients, I've done it in my research, and I've done it in my own project.


22:58 Pablo López: Okay. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm

just curious about that, how long have you been doing that with your researchers?

I mean, building this team.


23:08 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: We started in late 2016.


23:11 Pablo López: Yeah, got it.


23:13 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: The project is still going. It is the largest research

project of its kind, ever. And we have just completed the data collection and we

are now focusing on producing the results.


23:27 Pablo López: Got it. And how much would you say it took for you to have this

team culture built?


23:34 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: The first 18 months were critical. Because we were

recruiting, we were approaching people. We were soliciting their support and at

the same time they had to submit their CV, they had to answer a bunch of

questions because we have to evaluate if this person is capable of doing the job

that we need them to do. Now here's the other thing, by the way, we produced a

handbook for the members of the team. That handbook has been our Bible. We

put a lot of effort into creating that handbook, telling them: “Here's what we

expect from you, here's what we promise to you, here's the behavior we expect”

and all kinds of things. The handbook is a tangible external memory for everyone.

All virtual teams that have to work together for a long period, and by that I mean

over six months intensively, need to produce a handbook and the handbook

explains the role of the leader, the role of the team member, the qualifications, the

objectives, evaluation of performance, methods of communication, all of those

things. So, here's another thing I do, which may be of interest to you. Every four to

six weeks, I send out an update to all the team members. “Here is what we have

accomplished over the past four to six weeks, here are the issues we're still facing,

here are our expectations for the next four to six weeks”. So constant

communication. And in the updates I refer to the handbook, reminding people

that there is a handbook and we follow the handbook. So, as a team leader, if you

are working with a virtual team, the critical part of communication is providing

updates. Now, the update depends on the intensity of the work of the team

members. You may have to provide an update every Monday morning. It doesn't

have to be a big update, but that's how you get everybody connected to what you're

trying to accomplish. Remember, it's very easy for people on virtual teams to feel ignored.

Keep that in mind. So the challenge to you is, how do you avoid that? How do you

make sure that does not happen?


26:52 Pablo López: Great. Thank you so much for that invaluable information. I

think it's the first time to hear something like that. Developing a handbook and it

makes complete sense, so thank you.


27:05 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: It doesn't need to be a big document. Ours is pretty

big and actually you can go to our website, globeproject.com, and just have a look

at the handbook. Business teams are different from this particular team. However,

what I'm sharing with you is really the gold standard for managing the virtual

team.


27:37 Pablo López: Okay, great.


27:38 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: If you are working on a virtual team that ends in

one month, that's not that big a deal and weekly updates are pretty good. But a

handbook with maybe two pages for a group like that.


27:53 Pablo López: Okay, great. I think we can move on to the next question.

Again, thank you. Now let's talk about motivation and engagement. This is

something that we can all feel that we can all relate to, something that is a daily

battle. A lot of people have trouble with motivation and engagement, even in the

conventional office. In that case, what can a remote worker do to keep motivated?

Is it his responsibility? Is it the company's responsibility? What are your thoughts

on that?


28:36 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Let me ask you a question. Are you all based in New York

right now? All four of you?


28:41 Pablo López: No.


28:42 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Okay. So where are you based?


28:44 Pablo López: We're all based here in Peru.


28:47 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: In Peru, in Lima? Are you Lima? All of you?


28:50 Pablo López: Yeah.


28:51 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Okay. I love Lima. I used to visit it pre-COVID

regularly. I was working with Alicorp. I am going to answer your question for two

different types of individuals. The first type is an individual who is on a virtual team

pretty much all day. In other words, their job, their role, is a virtual role. The second

type of person is a person who has a day job, but has been assigned to a virtual

project. You know what I mean? So I'm a marketing manager, I work in the

marketing department, that's my job, but I've been asked to join a global virtual

team for a new product. That's on top of what I do. You see the difference between

these two individuals? So let's call them a full-time virtual member versus a

part-time virtual member. I'm going to start with the part-time virtual member

because that is the tougher one. The person who is a part-time virtual member,

his or her task is really something else. They're being evaluated on their functional

job, their boss, but they have to work for another project manager associated with

the project that they are involved in. Now, how do you motivate that person? Well,

number one, the project, this virtual team has to be part of their performance

values. If it's not, you don't have much motivation. So, that team has to be part of

their evaluation. The second thing is what's the reward system. You always want to

align the interest of the individual with the interest of the team. So what's in it for

them? What happens to them if the team is successful? The third thing is the

project itself, the objective of the team, what are we doing? The more exciting,

interesting, relevant that objective is to the person, the easier it is for them to be

motivated. It's not just about money, it's not just about my performance

evaluation, it's also about if I care about what I'm doing. I've been asked to spend

five hours a week on this virtual team. Do I like what's going on? The next

motivator is the relationship between the person, the team leader, and the team

members. If that relationship is one of trust, it's not about liking each other, it's

about trusting each other, it's about transparency, all the things that I discussed.

So, if I'm assigned to a virtual team that I believe in my team members, I believe in

my leader, that gives me motivation to do the best I can. So, there is the emotional

side and the task related side. The task related side is the objective, the

performance evaluation, how important is this to the broader scheme of things.

And then the emotional side is about my relation with my project leader, with the

team members, etc. Now, I started with the part-time member because, as you

can imagine, it's tougher, because the project and the virtual team is competing

with the amount of time that the individual is spending on their day job. I have my

day job, all of these researchers have their own day job, and I am competing with

my own day job. Of course, in my case, I'm a professor. So what I do on research is

not inconsistent with the job that I have at the university. But that's not always the

case on the corporate side. Now, let's look at a full time team member. So I've been

hired and right from day one I've been assigned to a virtual function. So, my group

is all over the world or all over and I have to work with it. Everything that I

mentioned is absolutely relevant, but it's a little easier to do because a hundred

percent of my time is dedicated to the project. So the project is not competing

with something.


34:37 Pablo López: Okay. Yeah. It makes sense. If you're working hybrid, I think it's

called hybrid. You work both in presence and remotely. It makes sense. So again,

thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I think we can move on to the next

question. This next one is related to skills, some people mentioned that there are some

skills that make working remotely a much better experience. So for you and in your experience; what sort of skills, both hard and soft, have you identified to be vital to

work remotely?


35:21 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Before I talk about skills, I'm going to tell you

something that's even more important: it's the mindset of each team member.

What I mean by that is, number one, you have to be open minded. This is

particularly important if you have people from different cultures on your team.

Number two, you have to show respect. In many cases, we disagree among each

other, but in the past four years, there has never been a raised voice, there has

never been a case where a bunch of people felt frustrated and angry and irritated

and upset. Why? Because when we make decisions, we allow everybody to

participate and to contribute. But we also have made it clear that at some point I

am going to make the decision and whatever decision I make is going to be based

on the discussion and the debate inside the team and is going to be justified, I will

provide an explanation or why we have made this decision. So respect people's

ideas and people's energy. It is so easy for people with different kinds of

backgrounds to look down on each other. “Oh, I'm a finance guy, you are the

salesperson. I am so much smarter than you.” Believe it or not, I worked with a

team of researchers at NASA and they have different expertise. They're all super

smart people, but one group thinks, “Oh, I'm smarter than you. I'm a theoretical

physicist, you are applied physics. That means I'm smarter than you.” These are

highly accomplished researchers, scientists, but they're also human beings. So the

mindset of respect and open-mindedness is critical. No skill is going to be helpful

to you if you don't have the right mindset for a virtual team. Now, obviously you

need the same thing for an in-person team, but it's doubly more important when

you are on a virtual team. So that's the mindset you need to start. Now, if you have

the mindset, what are the skills? The first skill is to be a good communicator.

Now, let me ask you a question. When I use that sentence, be a good

communicator, what does that mean to you?


38:35 Pablo López: I would say what you just mentioned, there's no such thing as

over communicating, something in the global virtual. So I would say that is to be a

good communicator.


38:45 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: So to you, Pablo, being a good communicator

means making sure people understand your message?


38:52 Pablo López: Yeah, exactly.


38:53 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: So I'm going to tell you, that's only half of the

picture. The other half is to make sure you understand the other people. See when

I use that sentence, everybody defines it exactly the way you did. I'm a good

communicator because I make sure everybody understands my message. But

before everybody understands your message, you need to make sure you

understand their message, who they are, and their way of thinking. It's a two way

street. For me to be able to influence you I have to be willing to allow you to

influence me. You know what I mean? So that is the critical skillset, being a good

listener. Being a good listener means making sure I understand you. It means I'm

not going to pay attention, while I've been talking with you, to my phone which is

constantly ringing. It's very easy for people to get distracted. I'm going to check

my email while I'm listening to this guy. You can't do that. If you have an attitude

or a mindset of respect to someone, you don't do that, you set everything else

aside. They're part of your team, your job is to listen to them. It doesn't mean you

agree with them. I may totally disagree with you on something, but I will disagree

with you after I understand what you're saying and how you're saying it. That's the

respect that I owe you as a member of the virtual team. Believe me, helping

managers be a good listener is actually very hard, because everybody thinks

they're a very good listener, but in fact they're not. You want to know how good a

listener you are, ask your partner, they're the best person to give you an answer. So

those are the skills, but the skills are anchored in a foundation. The foundation is

your mindset. Is that clear?


41:39 Pablo López: Yeah, completely. I just have a question regarding that

mindset. I mean, this question is regarding the skills of course, but as you

mentioned, first comes the mindset. So what can we do to develop that? Is there a

way we can develop a mindset? Are there some people that probably don't have it

and just won't have it?


42:01 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Yeah, in teams there will be people who don't have

it. So your question is, well, what can you do as a team or as a leader to at least try?

Remember the handbook, where you will have a section on how we work

together. But it's not enough just to put it on paper or to put it on a website, you

need to have conversations about that with your team members. So we're gonna

spend the next hour as a team discussing what a successful virtual team means to

each one of you. Let's define it. So each team member puts together their top two

ideas for a team that is gonna be successful. We'll write them all down and then

we look at that and, as a leader, you make sure that the issue of mindset comes

up. If nobody brings it up, you bring it up and you put it up there. We need to

show respect, we need to be open minded. Now, what does that mean? In

behavioral terms, let's define what behaviors we should do and not do in order to

be open minded and to show respect. So you get people to agree on that,

whatever people agree on, you put it in the handbook. That's how you do it. It

doesn't mean that you're gonna be successful with everybody, but you will be

successful with a sufficient number of people to make the team work together.


44:03 Pablo López: Okay, great. It completely makes sense, I'm just thinking about

it. It's a really great idea and I don't know what else to add. It is really great.

So, I think we can just move to the next question. We just have a couple of

questions left, and the next one is related to productivity. I mean, this is something

that we can also discuss a lot. Productivity is an important topic, even more when

working remotely. But there are of course a lot of different opinions about it. What

is productivity? What can we do to enhance productivity? Is someone actually

productive? So, what strategies have you identified to enhance this productivity in

your team, in your experience working?


44:56 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: So everything that I've discussed up to now can

help answer this question. Let me backtrack. When I teach virtual teams, I start

with a sentence. I say, “Having a successful virtual team is like having green space

in Arizona.” It doesn't happen naturally, Arizona is a desert. So if you expect

suddenly to have roses and beautiful trees and bushes, it's not going to happen. It

happens in Lima, but that is not going to happen in Phoenix. Why? Because the

climate is not conducive. The same thing is true about virtual teams. If you want to

have a successful virtual team, it's not going to happen automatically and

naturally. You have to artificially manage it, you have to change the climate, you

have to build the climate in order to have a successful team. What that means is

communication, trust, transparency. Right off the bat, before the group does

anything, they have to spend hours together reaching agreements on their

definition of a successful team, their definition of how to communicate with each

other, their definition of how to deal with conflict, how to give negative feedback

to each other. That's what I mean by manually managing the team climate. If you

just say, “Let's get together and talk about the project, etcetera,” it's not going to

work. As a leader, you need to take extra steps compared to an in person team, you

need to take extra steps to ensure that the proper climate for the success of a

virtual team is created. Now, on top of that are objectives of the project. Are those

goals important to the organization? Are those goals important to me as a

member of a team? All of those are critical also. Well, I want to talk about the more foundational things.


47:43 Pablo López: Okay, great. As I mentioned, it's something we have never

heard before. But it's really important to have those discussions, right? To get the

things done there to express that, “Hey, this is the way we're gonna do it.” But,

yeah.


48:04 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Think of it this way, what is the DNA of an effective

virtual team? Ask yourself that question. When you are working with your clients,

when you are offering them solutions, start with that. What is the DNA of an

effective virtual team? What are the metrics? And then, what are the steps you

can take as an organization to achieve that? To ensure that the DNA exists, to

ensure that you're accomplishing the metrics.


48:41 Pablo López: Right. I mean, yeah, we are building that, but more than that,

we're also a global team. So those suggestions are also for us, ourselves.


48:54 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: You guys are part of it. You are a global virtual

team. And everything I mentioned is doubly harder when you have people from

different countries. Let me give you a simple example. Every one of you speaks

very good English, but that's not the case in many global teams, people have

different accents. So it's sometimes hard to understand. The accents create

invisible walls among team members and everybody avoids talking about it

because it sounds bad, disrespectful, and all of that. But if you don't deal with it, if

you don't help people break down the invisible wall of accents, communication is

going to suffer, but you have to be very tactful on how you deal with the accents.


49:53 Pablo López: Yeah, of course. It's not easy to do that. As you mentioned, it

might lead to something that you don't want. So again, thank you for sharing your

thoughts on that. We just have one question left which is actually related to your

work. We know that you are researching trust in global virtual teams.

So we would like to know if you have any suggestions for people who would like to

continue your research.


50:22 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: What do you mean by continue? Do you mean

reading more articles that I produce? Do you mean actually getting global virtual

teams involved in research? Tell me more.


50:34 Pablo López: Yes. I mean researching. Probably something that you wanted

to do and that you didn't get to do or something that your research was focused

on or another focus that could be done also, something like that.


50:52 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Well, right now, as I mentioned earlier, I have

completed the data collection. As a matter of fact, I did two very interesting

workshops in Lima, I believe it was in 2019, with Peruvian executives. We discussed

trust, what does it take to build trust? What does it take to decide if your Peruvian

new colleague is trustworthy? And we had some really interesting conversations.

So I've completed that line of work. Over the next two years, I would expect to be

producing more articles on trust specifically among people in different parts of

the world. And also some articles about global virtual teams. But I'm not going to

collect data anymore within the next two years. If you have clients who you need

to provide support in terms of how to manage their virtual teams and how to help

them do a lot of the stuff that I talked about, one of the things that I do for

consulting firms is they put me in front of some of their clients for 90 minutes or

for two hours where we get into a lot more depth on some of the issues that are

directly relevant to them. Something for you to think about.


52:37 Pablo López: Thank you. Thank you for that idea. I think that would be, yeah,

I think with that we can wrap up our interview. I don't know if anyone has

anything to add.


52:49 Victoria Gálvez: I just think that the amount of knowledge that you've been

able to share with us has been increasingly significant. I think that you may have

seen us in plenty of times during this interview and go, “Oh, yes.” Because we

identify with what you're saying and we will definitely make sure to implement a

lot of the strategies that you have mentioned for our own team, as Pablo said. So

thank you very much for that.


53:15 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Thank you. I want to leave you with something to

think about. There are many consulting firms that offer competencies, global

leadership competencies, global team competencies, skills. What I've been trying

to leave with you is that there is something more basic that you need to attend to

before you talk about competencies and skills. I hope that has been helpful.


53:51 Victoria Gálvez: Thank you.


53:52 Pablo López: Yes, exactly. Okay. Thank you so much. We are really grateful.

We can wrap our interview. And Lima is waiting for you whenever you want to

come again. Well, it's not sunny right now, but it's great.

54:08 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Maybe, in Lima, in fall, I may just send you guys an

email.


54:14 Pablo López: That would be great. Yeah. We have team members here in

Lima, too.


54:18 Ph.D. Mansour Javidan: Have a great day, everybody.


54:19 Pablo López: Thank you so much. Have a nice day.


54:21 Victoria Gálvez: Thank you too.



—End of Interview—

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